Avoiding complacency seems to be the key theme of Newcastle’s summer preparations. Although no senior players have been recruited yet, there is a strong determination and competitiveness underpinning United’s work in these crucial weeks.
Thursday afternoon’s initial training session in Vale dos Lobos was a case in point. Players were snapping into tackles and there was a fierce spirit about the camp that seemed to suggest fears that the team might tail off are being taken seriously in these parts.
Krul acknowledges the importance of building on the foundations of last season, which he rates as one of the most crucial in the recent history of the club.
“Last year was a really important year in the history of the club,” he said. “The team was so together. Whether it was an important save, a good goal or an important tackle, we all celebrated together. We were a united team and a united party.
“I think that is the main ingredient of our success – that togetherness. The team is together and willing to fight for each other and we can go a long way.
“We showed that last year and there is a real opportunity for us to progress and keep moving forward. Now, hopefully with a few additions to the squad, we can take that chance.”
Not that the Premier League will get any easier for United.
With quite a small squad they will attempt to compete on four fronts – with Europe a new frontier for the players to contend with.
A Brendan Rodgers-inspired Liverpool will look to bounce back, while most of the top four appear to be consolidating with some major signings.
“It is going to be harder – teams are going to be more alert to us,” Krul said. “But that could be a positive thing as well. If teams know all about us they should give us some respect because we are a good team – as we proved last year.
“We should look forward to it all though, because it is an exciting time to be at Newcastle United and to be involved in it. Europe will be fantastic for us.” Krul also says that he has expunged the disappointment of a depressing European Championships that concluded with a very unexpected failure.
Holland entered the tournament as one of the favourites and notwithstanding a difficult group, they were expected to make an impact. Three games and zero points later, Krul was suffering one of the biggest disappointments of his nascent career.
“It was a nightmare and unexpected for us. We expected to reach the semi-final at least and we should for a country like Holland,” he explains. “To get zero points is totally unacceptable and everyone associated with the team knows that. Coming back with Newcastle means it is forgotten about.”