Karl Darlow reflects on his return to Newcastle’s starting XI

Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

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Karl Darlow says he’s happy to be back in Newcastle United’s starting XI – and happier still at the club’s form.

Rafa Benitez’s side moved up to second place in the Championship at the weekend.

We know now we’re in the top two, and we want to stay there all season. We need to make sure we go to Barnsley and put on a good display and come away with another three points.

Karl Darlow

And the challenge for Darlow and his team-mates – who take on Barnsley at Oakwell tonight – is to cement their place in an automatic promotion slot.

The goalkeeper said: “We can’t be complacent after a few very good results.

“We know now we’re in the top two, and we want to stay there all season.

“We need to make sure we go to Barnsley and put on a good display and come away with another three points.”

Darlow replaced summer signing Matz Sels in goal last month.

And the 26-year-old – who had been disappointed not to start the season between the posts – has been confident and composed since returning to the team.

“It was tough at the start, but now I’m in, I’m happy that I’m playing and the team is doing well,” said Darlow.

“All I want to do is make sure this team gets back in the Premier League.

“The whole club is pulling in the same direction. We want to get promoted and we want to play well and get a lot of points.”

Benitez changed his goalkeeper after last month’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Sels was blamed by some fans for Villa’s late equaliser.

“I just had to keep going. I did that,” said Darlow. “It was tough and frustrating at times.

“I think you’ll see throughout the season different teams each and every week. We know that we need to stay focused.”