By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Modest Tim Krul made four crucial saves to help Newcastle progress to the last 16 of the Europa League and insisted: 'It's just nice to make a contribution.'
The Dutchman, who kept a clean sheet in the first leg at St. James' Park, did not have too much to do in the opening 70 minutes at the Metalist Stadium.
But once Shola Ameobi put the Magpies in front on the night and on aggregate, he had to be at his very best to preserve United's slender advantage.
First, he made a fine sprawling block to deny substitute Willian, then made two stunning stops in the space of 30 seconds to thwart Jonathan Cristaldo.
And with four minutes left, he made a magnificent parry from Willian as United marched on in the competition.
"I'm really pleased, of course," Krul told nufc.co.uk from the team coach.
"It's nice to be important and to make a contribution to the team.
"We defended well - there were some great blocks and I think we showed some of the qualities that we did last season with everybody working for each other.
"Everybody had to put a lot of hard graft in. We showed a lot of spirit towards the end but it's worth it, definitely.
"I think we did really well today. We knew if we scored one it was going to be difficult for them to come back because they had to score two and we're really pleased to go through.
"It's massive for the club to be in the last 16 of the Europa League. I think that's where we belong.
"And it's great for the club like Newcastle to be in the draw for the last 16.
"We're going to Anzhi (Makhachkala) now and that's a great prospect which I'm really looking forward to."
However, Krul's night ended with injury as Cristaldo slid in late to leave him hobbling away on crutches.
And, although Alan Pardew hopes he will recover in time to face Southampton on Sunday, when asked how serious it was Krul admitted: "I don't know.
"We'll have to wait for the scans."
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