Karl Darlow is enjoying every minute of Newcastle United’s Championship challenge.
Darlow has been between the posts for the last eight league games – and the club has won every one of them as they look to bounce back from last season’s relegation.
We defended very well throughout. We didn’t give them too much.
Newcastle stretched their lead at the top of the division to five points with a 2-0 win over Leeds United last weekend.
Darlow made a superb save to deny Eunan O’Kane before Dwight Gayle scored his second goal at Elland Road.
And Darlow – who started the season on the bench and was recalled to the starting XI in late September – is looking for United to stretch their winning run in all competitions to 10 games when Blackburn Rovers visit St James’s Park on Saturday.
Reflecting on his remarkable return to the starting XI, the 26-year-old said: “I just enjoy football. It’s a short career and you need to make sure you enjoy it every time you go out on the pitch.”
Darlow – who previously played in the Championship with former club Nottingham Forest – made a one-handed save to deny O’Kane early in the second half at Elland Road
“It went through someone’s legs,” he said. “It was just a reaction save, and then Jamaal (Lascelles) mopped up well. We defended very well throughout. We didn’t give them too much.
“The only danger was thought they’d have was set-pieces. They had a couple of headers first-half, but nothing major. On the whole we defended very well. It was a good team performance.”
Leeds goalkeeper Robert Green had a less memorable afternoon, having made a mistake for Gayle’s first goal.
Asked if he felt for Green, Darlow said: “I was just delighted that we scored. We’ll take a goal however it comes.”
Newcastle have conceded just three goals away from home all season.
“Obviously, we’ve got confidence in our ability, but it’s a just a case of not getting carried away and maintaining momentum,” said Darlow.
Meanwhile, Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul has come through his first competitive game since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in October last year.
Krul, on a season-long loan at Dutch giants Ajax, played 90 minutes for the club’s reserves in a 2-2 draw against Utrecht.