Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul
NEWCASTLE United’s push for a Champions League place is proof that the “good times are back” at St James’ Park, according to influential goalkeeper Tim Krul.
United entertain Bolton today looking for a fifth successive victory which would maintain the pressure on capital trio Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.
It has been an incredible achievement on the part of Alan Pardew and his team but Krul insists it is no fluke, and that they should be looking to the top six every year.
A smart recruitment policy, a healthy bank balance and a squad in which most of the bigger personalities are tied down on long-term contracts feels like a recipe for long-term success. But in the short-term, Krul and his team-mates have the belief to clinch a return to Europe, one way or another.
“It’s incredible. We set a target to win the last seven of our last ten games of the season and we’ve already won four of them,” he said. “It’s really incredible. The good times are back at Newcastle – the message now is to just keep believing. Bolton at home on Monday is a big opportunity but it’s about taking it one game at a time.
“We have to believe in Champions League qualification and just win our games. Bolton is the first one but we have Stoke at home as well, those are the games we have to win to keep the pressure on the top four or five.
“Maybe we can sneak in but we have to take it game by game.”
United have clearly been buoyed by the form of Papiss Demba Cisse, who has scored a barely credible seven goals in his last four games for Newcastle.
He even won the Barcelona seal of approval after Friday’s brace, with Cesc Fabregas tweeting his admiration for the Senegalese striker’s second goal at Swansea.
Krul says that superb form is no surprise to Newcastle players who have seen the forward turn on the style in training too. “He is scoring everything at the moment,” he said. “In training on Thursday he chipped Rob Elliot from 40 metres. He’s on fire and what a player to have bought.”