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The veteran shot-stopper admits he let his standards slip after losing his place to Tim Krul but an injury to the Dutchman has brought the 37-year-old back into contention

Steve Harper has admitted he thought his days were numbered at Newcastle after the emergence of Dutch youngster Tim Krul as first-choice goalkeeper on Tyneside.

The 37-year-old returned to the Magpies' first team for the European meeting with Atromitos earlier this season, and following an elbow injury to Krul, he was given a Premier League start in Monday’s 2-2 draw with Everton.
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After slipping behind the Netherlands international in the pecking order, Harper claimed that he had lost some motivation, and was wondering if he would ever play for the club again.

“I didn’t think a night like this would come again. It looked a long way away,” he told reporters ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Maritimo in the Europa League on Thursday.

“It was probably a little bit my fault as well. When Tim started last season, I admit I got the hump and let my standards slip.

“That’s probably the reason I went on loan and wasn’t involved.

“But the first morning of pre-season the manager asked to see me. He said, ‘Have you still got it?’ I said, ‘Yes’.

“He told me if I showed him I still wanted it, there would be an opportunity. So credit to him.”

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