Martin Dubravka assesses Newcastle's first test in Portugal

Martin Dubravka says he's happy to be kept busy in goal at Newcastle United.

Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 3:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 4:03 pm
Martin Dubravka.

Dubravka made a series of superb saves in Saturday's goalless draw against Porto at the Estadio do Dragao before being replaced by Karl Darlow late in the game.

Newcastle were put on the back foot for much of the game by the Portuguese champions.

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Jamaal Lascelles and DeAndre Yedlin also made goal-saving interventions, while Porto also struck the woodwork twice.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night's friendly against Braga, Dubravka said: "I prefer a night like Saturday, because sometimes it’s hard to focus for the whole 90 minutes and you might go a long time without making a save then suddenly you have to be ready.

"In Saturday’s first half, I hardly had anything to do, but after the break they changed the system and they changed their players and we were a little bit under pressure.

"It was good for us that we didn’t concede a goal."

Sir Bobby Robson – who led Porto to successive league titles – was remembered before the friendly, which was watched by a crowd of more than 40,000.

“It was hard to call it a friendly, because, for me, every game is special against this kind of quality of opposition means you play at 100%," said Dubravka, signed on a permanent deal from Sparta Prague this summer.

"It was good to try a few things during the game, because it’s pre-season and you have to try things. It was a quality, quality opposition.

“I think it was a good test for us against a team like Porto, because they have quality so we had to be ready for them. We can bring this confidence into the league."

On the atmosphere inside the Estadio do Dragao, the 29-year-old added: “St James’s Park is amazing, but it’s slightly different when it’s the opposition making all the noise.

"It was nice to see a different culture and a different stadium, a different pitch. But I think we did well in parts of the game."