Newcastle United star Tim Krul feels that Alan Pardew deserves every plaudit he gets for helping the Magpies shake off their “dodgy defence” tag.
The Magpies looked vulnerable in their first season back in the big time during 2010-11, but gradually Pardew has helped build up Newcastle’s reputation as a hard-to-beat outfit.
Only Manchester City and Manchester United had more shutouts than Newcastle last term with their defensive solidity helping to earn a fifth-place finish in the Premier League.
Krul, who was one of Newcastle’s star performers last season, will start the season as Pardew’s number 1 and believes that Pardew has turned things around defensively since his appointment in December 2010.
Now the big Dutchman feels that with a solid platform to work from in games – couple with the likes of lethal marksman like Papiss Cisse – the Magpies can only build on their outstanding achievements in the last campaign.
And the friendly giant said to a local newspaper: “From the moment the manager stepped in he has been working with the defence.
“We have defensive reports now before every game.
“He’s just kept hammering that home. If we keep clean sheets now, we have players who can make the difference and can win us games, it’s not just the back four but also people like Yohan Cabaye in there and we are capable of beating anybody.”
Newcastle will return for pre-season training in just 11 days time with a hectic start to the season in prospect.
They face their season opener against Tottenham Hotspur on August 18 before a trip to Chelsea a week later.
However, United will also take on European opposition in between their battles with the London clubs as they prepare for the first leg of their Europa League play-off game.
Of course the first continental campaign on Tyneside for six years is eagerly anticipated by fans and players alike.
Yet Krul knows that the entire squad will be rotated as they bid to cope with the intensity of both competitions.