Karl Darlow’s admitted he’s had a “frustrating” start to the season at Newcastle United.
Matz Sels has started the Championship campaign between the posts.
I’ve been frustrated waiting to play, so it was good to get out there and get a good performance under my belt.Karl Darlow
And the summer signing is expected to be in goal against Brighton and Hove Albion at St James’s Park today (5.30pm kick-off).
Darlow made his first appearance of the season in Wednesday night’s 2-0 EFL Cup win over Cheltenham.
The 25-year-old impressed in a late-season run in Rafa Benitez’s side last term in the absence through injury of Tim Krul and Rob Elliot.
And Darlow – who has experience of the Championship from his time at Nottingham Forest – was relieved to finally get a competitive game in the second-round tie.
“I’ve been frustrated waiting to play, so it was good to get out there and get a good performance under my belt,” said Darlow.
“It’s been a frustrating start to the season, but hopefully I can really kick on now and push for more starts.”
Sels is still adjusting to the demands of English football following his move from Belgian club Gent.
And Darlow – who made 10 league and cup appearances last season – intends to push the 24-year-old hard over the coming weeks and months.
“I’ve been ready to play in every single game, so it’s been pretty frustrating for me sitting on the sidelines,” said Darlow, who was happy to keep a clean sheet in midweek.
“I’ve just got to be patient, wait for my chance.
“When they come, like they did against Cheltenham, I’ve got to make sure I take them and show everyone what I know I can do.”
Brighton missed out on automatic promotion by goal difference last season, and Chris Hughton’s side are second in the table after a strong start to the new season.
Seventh-placed Newcastle, however, are confident after three successive league and cup wins, though they will be without strikers Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic, who both suffered concussions against Cheltenham.
“We are full of confidence,” said Darlow. “Playing at St James’s Park, we fancy ourselves to beat anyone.
“We’ve just got to go out there, concentrate and put in the hard work and make sure we come out of that one with another victory.
“Definitely, the momentum is building.
“We’ve got confidence in the squad that we can do can achieve anything we want to this season.
“We know there’s a lot of quality within this squad, everyone’s going to be needed throughout the season, because it’s a long campaign with a lot of games.
“We just need to make sure that we concentrate throughout the season and get the best results we possibly can by putting in the performances every game.”
Ayoze Perez scored both United’s goals against Cheltenham, and the forward is expected to lead the line against Brighton in the absence of Gayle and Mitrovic.
Perez also had to wear a bandage after suffered a cut on his ear.
“They were mainly fluke head injuries where they could have happened in any game where people have gone up for headers and clashed heads,” said Darlow.
“It’s a strange one because I don’t think I’ve seen three head injuries in one game before.”
“I thought it was a pretty scrappy game to start off with, but then we took control and we were pretty dominant.
“Overall, it was a professional performance from us to get through to the next round.”