Jak Alnwick

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Rookie goalkeeper Jak Alnwick could face a baptism of fire on Sunday when he's named on the Newcastle bench for the very first time against the most successful club in Premier League history, Manchester United.

But manager Alan Pardew has insisted that he has every faith in the former England under-18 international, who has been in superb form for the Magpies at second-string level so far this season, should he be called upon.

With Tim Krul injured and Rob Elliot having to come off at half-time against Bordeaux on Thursday night, Steve Harper and Alnwick are the only fit senior goalkeepers at the club.

The 19-year-old from Hexham joined Newcastle from Sunderland - where his older brother, Ben, used to play - four years ago and made his Reserve team debut against Middlesbrough in October 2009.

He enjoyed his first taste of senior action in August when he replaced Harper for the final few minutes of a 5-1 friendly win over Hartlepool and has played in all five of United's Barclays Under-21 Premier League matches this term.

"Jak will be on the bench," Pardew confirmed ahead of the weekend's clash against the Red Devils.

"He's trained well and we like Jak. We think he's got a great chance here so I've no problem with sticking him on the bench.

"We don't particularly want to use him, hopefully, because we want Harps to play and be fit.

"You don't want to wish injury on anybody but I don't worry too much.

"I think Robbie Elliot will only be a couple of weeks and Tim I think will train perhaps next week so we've just really got one game to get through."

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