Harper pleads for place

20 October 2006 03:02
Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper has vowed to play through the pain barrier in an effort to keep hold of the number one jersey. The 31-year-old picked up a groin injury against Manchester United at the start of the month but retained his place for last weekend's defeat by Bolton and the midweek UEFA Cup victory over Fenerbahce. But despite veteran custodian Pavel Srnicek and 18-year-old reserve team keeper Tim Krul both being ready to step in, Harper has urged Magpies boss Glenn Roeder to select him for this weekend's trip to Middlesbrough. Harper has been the long-term understudy to Shay Given - currently sidelined himself after undergoing abdominal surgery - and is keen to make the most of his rare starting opportunity. "I've waited five years for my chance and I'm not giving it all up without a fight," he said. "You'll have to knock me out to stop me playing at Middlesbrough on Sunday. "Don't forget, I've learned from old Lazarus himself, Shay Given, about coming back from the dead and taking his place in the Newcastle goal."

Source: ESA