Newcastle confident in goalkeeper Karius ahead of cup final
NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Kieran Trippier has known Loris Karius since their youth days at Manchester City.
He's not worried about the goalkeeper's state of mind as Newcastle prepares to face Manchester United in the English League Cup final on Sunday.
“I know what kind of character he is. He’s brave, he’s confident, he’s a very good goalkeeper,” Trippier said at a press conference. “He’ll be mentally ready, he’ll be physically ready, no problem. I’m not worried about that.”
Karius is set to be thrust back into the spotlight — at Wembley Stadium no less — nearly five years since his last appearance for an English club.
The German's gaffes — later shown to be concussion related — were costly in Liverpool's 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League final.
Karius' potential shot at redemption — manager Eddie Howe hasn't named his starters yet — has come about because Newcastle's top two 'keepers are unavailable.
Nick Pope is suspended because of a red card, and backup Martin Dubravka is ineligible because he played in the competition for United earlier this season while on loan.
That leaves the 29-year-old Karius and veteran Mark Gillespie, whose last appearance for Newcastle was in September 2020.
Karius had gone to Turkish club Besiktas on loan from Liverpool for two seasons after the infamous defeat in Kiev and then played briefly for Union Berlin in 2020-21 before closing out his Liverpool days at the team's training center last season.
Karius has yet to play a competitive match for Newcastle since signing in the offseason. He impressed in a friendly match against Al Hilal during Newcastle's trip to Saudi Arabia in December.
“For me it was the first time back on the field after quite a while. It's a good feeling,” he told club media during the trip.
Howe said he wouldn't select his starting lineup until the end of the week.
“We’ve all got stuff that has happened in our careers, in our histories, that you learn from and I think he’s no different in that respect,” Howe said this week.
Team captain Trippier said the Champions League final was “ages ago.”
“Loris is only looking forward,” the right back said. "He’s been positive since he’s arrived here. We can’t look at the past, we need to look at now. If Loris is playing, I know he’ll be ready. He has the full support of certainly myself and my teammates.
“We want to win the cup and bring it back to Newcastle, so everyone will be ready.”
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The Associated Press