Steve Harper and Tim Krul

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Number one goalkeeper Tim Krul has missed Newcastle's last three games but two clean sheets in United's last two matches - both kept by different players - shows just how strong the Magpies are in that department.

Steve Harper kept out Norwich on Sunday, earning a shut-out with a couple of fine saves against the Canaries, while Rob Elliot excelled in last Thursday's night's 0-0 Europa League draw at Maritimo.

And with fourth choice keeper Jak Alnwick also in fine form for the under-21s this season, Assistant Manager John Carver believes there is now real competition for a place between the posts - even when Krul returns from the elbow injury suffered on international duty with Holland earlier this month.

Goalkeeping Coach Andy Woodman trains all four keepers and Carver smiled: "I think they're doing some good work with the goalkeeping guru.

"It's great. It's healthy; competitiveness and people fighting for places.

"Robbie didn't let a goal in on Thursday night and did extremely well, Stevie's done well and Tim will be coming back soon.

"So it's competition that we want and that we need and long may that continue."

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