Karl Darlow made his first Newcastle appearance in December 2015 in an away fixture to West Brom. United lost the game, with the only goal coming from Darren Fletcher following an error from the debutant.
Since then however, the Englishman has since cemented his place as Newcastle’s first choice after some exceptional performances and has admitted he was left “devastated” by his early Newcastle form.
Many fans believed that the 26-year-old wouldn’t be good enough following his early disappointing displays but the stopper's terrific turnaround has made him a crowd favourite at St James’ Park.
He has been vital to Newcastle’s impressive defensive record this season and has a growing reputation as a specialist penalty-stopper after his two saves from the spot against his former club Nottingham Forest.
Darlow also admitted he felt “low” after his debut. “I couldn’t believe I had played so badly because I knew in myself I was better than that.”
However, he was determined to not let his form bother him too much: “It’s sink or swim. Either you get on with it and put it in the past or you get yourself down" The shot-stopper also said, "After that West Brom game, all I wanted to do was get back out there and play and prove to everyone I was good enough for this football club.”
Competition is “good”
Darlow suffered another blow when Rafael Benitez opted to start the season with new signing Matz Sels as his number one.
“I took it on the chin” admitted Darlow. “I had to work hard to prove to the manager I was good enough”.
The Englishman also described United’s battle with Brighton at the top of the table as “good”. “Brighton have been unbelievable keeping up with us. It is good competition because we look for their results and know we have to win to stay ahead of them. It is better to have someone close to you.”
“We want promotion and the title.”