Karl Darlow: Why Newcastle are ‘strong’ enough to fight on two fronts this season

Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

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Karl Darlow feels Newcastle United CAN fight on two fronts.

The promotion-chasing club takes on Oxford United in a fourth-round FA Cup tie tomorrow.

We’ve overcome the Christmas period now. Hopefully, we can kick on and really assert ourselves at the top.

Karl Darlow

Rafa Benitez is likely to name a weakened team ahead of Championship fixtures against Queens Park Rangers and Derby County.

Darlow – who has not played in a cup game since September – is likely to be rested at the Kassam Stadium. The goalkeeper, however, believes second-placed United can enjoy a run in the competition and continue to progress in the league.

“We have to prepare properly again,” said 26-year-old. “Whether the manager rotates the squad again, I don’t know, but we know we’re strong and we want to get through to the next round. That’s the next hurdle.

“We’re used to being a scalp, and that’ll definitely be the way Oxford are looking at things at the weekend.

“Everyone knows about FA Cup shocks, and we have to make sure we’re not on the wrong end of that.

“We just need to make sure we concentrate, and we play our football, like we have in the last few games. We need to carry on with a bit of momentum, and hopefully get ourselves in the next round.”

Newcastle have had a full week to prepare for the cup tie.

“It’s strange to have a full week’s training,” said Darlow. “It’s good that we can get on the training ground and really work on things, because it’s been hectic with the fixtures that we’ve had.

“We’ve overcome the Christmas period now. Hopefully, we can kick on and really assert ourselves at the top.”