'It's his shirt to lose' - Sky pundit heaps praise on 'absolutely awesome' Newcastle player

Sky Sports pundit Matt Murray has claimed that Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce made the right decision by reinstating Karl Darlow into his starting lineup against Sheffield United on Tuesday evening.
Karl Darlow. (Photo by Lee Smith - Pool/Getty Images)Karl Darlow. (Photo by Lee Smith - Pool/Getty Images)
Karl Darlow. (Photo by Lee Smith - Pool/Getty Images)

The 30-year-old goalkeeper has been in inspired form since he stepped in as deputy for the injured Martin Dubravka earlier in the season, but was consigned to a watching brief against Arsenal in the FA Cup on Saturday, with his Slovakian teammate making his comeback in a 2-0 loss to the Gunners.

Darlow was back between the sticks for the 1-0 defeat at Bramall Lane, however, and Murray was pleased to see Bruce reward the stopper for his impressive performances of late.

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Speaking on Sky Sports’ coverage of the match, he said: “If I'm Karl Darlow, with Steve Bruce resting me against Arsenal, the way he’s played this season, and how patient Karl Darlow has been during his time at Newcastle, I’d have been bashing the door down [if Bruce had selected Dubravka against Sheffield United].

"On a serious note, Dubravka is a top, top keeper. He came in, burst onto the scene against Manchester United, but now since Darlow has come in he’s been absolutely awesome.

"He makes save after save. Even games where they’ve been beaten heavily – against Manchester United he was still excellent. He was man of the match against Tottenham.

"It’s his right, it should be his shirt to lose, and it would have to be a brave manager to drop any goalkeeper in that kind of form.”