This has helped 'heal' Newcastle United
Martin Dubravka has been busier than any other top-flight goalkeeper in Europe – and he needed a break.
Dubravka, the last line of defence for Newcastle United, has made 103 Premier League saves so far this season.
However, the 31-year-old is now rested and ready to go again in Sunday's game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Steve Bruce, the club’s head coach, gave his players the best part of a week off during the Premier League’s winter break after last week’s FA Cup win over Oxford United, for which Dubravka was rested.
“We’ve had so many games in a row, so these few days off definitely helped us to heal some small injuries,” Dubravka told the club’s official website. “I’m glad that they decided to give us some days off, because especially when you play against top teams at Christmas time, you’re tired. If you don’t get a good result, it’s hard mentally as well, so it was perfect timing.
“Football’s not only a physical thing. Also, mentally, it’s very difficult sometimes, especially when you don’t get a result.”
Dubravka, signed from Sparta Prague two years ago, has played every minute of every league game this season. The Slovakia international shrugged off praise for his performances between the posts last month.
“I’m happy that I could help the players,” Dubravka told the Gazette. “I’m trying just to be focused on the next game and the next game.”
Arsenal’s Bernd Leno is the division’s next busiest goalkeeper with 93 saves.