Karl Darlow intends to push Newcastle United No 1 Tim Krul all the way this season – after quickly adjusting to life at St James’s Park.
Darlow joined the club a year ago from Nottingham Forest in a double deal with Jamaal Lascelles.
But the goalkeeper was immediately loaned back to the Championship club.
And Darlow had to wait more than a year to make his competitive Newcastle debut.
The 24-year-old and defender Lascelles started last month’s Capital One Cup match against Northampton Town at St James’s Park, which United won 4-1 to book a home third-round tie against Sheffield Wednesday.
Darlow was No 1 at the City Ground, but he knows first-team opportunities will be harder to come by at Newcastle given that Krul is the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.
However, Darlow, already settled on Tyneside, must be ready for his Premier League chance – whenever it comes.
“You can be out the side one game then in for the rest of the season,” said Northampton-born Darlow.
“It’s about training as hard as I can and pushing Tim as hard as I can and waiting for my chance.
“As second-choice keeper, it’s about patience, and I knew the situation when I came up here.”
Darlow – who joined United while Alan Pardew was manager – is upbeat about the prospects for the club under new head coach Steve McClaren, who had a spell in charge of Forest.
“I’m still young and hungry to achieve big things,” said Darlow.
“It’s exciting times for the club.”
Darlow’s status as Newcastle’s second-choice goalkeeper has put a question mark over Rob Elliot’s United future.
The 29-year-old, signed from Charlton Athletic four years ago, previously deputised for Krul, but Darlow was chosen ahead of him to play against Northampton in the cup.
And Elliot, keen to be playing week in, week out at an important stage of his career, could be loaned out when the Football League’s emergency loan window opens this week.
Teenage goalkeeper Freddie Woodman is out on loan at League One side Crawley Town until January.