NEWCASTLE United will be in safe hands if anything happens to Tim Krul between now and the end of the season – thanks to Freddie Woodman.
The Tynesiders will be without Rob Elliot, Krul’s experienced deputy, for the rest of the season.
Elliot has suffered another thigh injury, and teenager Woodman has been put on standby for the last five games.
Jak Alnwick, 21, was preferred to Woodman earlier in the season when Krul and Elliot were both sidelined.
But head coach John Carver feels that England Under-19 international Woodman is now ready, physically and mentally, to step up.
“I’m telling you now that I have got complete faith in the boy Woodman,” said Carver.
“He trains with us and he looks like a young man. He’s developing, developing, and he has gone past Jak Alnwick. That’s why I was prepared to let Jak go to Bradford.
“I have enough confidence in Freddie that I would not have any hesitation in throwing him in.
“Sometimes it’s the physicality of things, and with Freddie, he could physically handle it.
“He has trained with the first team players since the age of 14 – he’s up to it.”
There have been calls for forward Adam Armstrong – who has come up through the ranks with Woodman for club and country – to be given a start before the end of the campaign.
However, Carver has reiterated his belief that Armstrong, 18, needs a season out on loan.
“Some players can go in and handle it, others need more time,” added Carver.
“I might as well use the example of Adam Armstrong – he needs a season playing at a good level.”
Armstrong scored both Newcastle’s goals in the Under-21s’ 2-1 over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Monday night.