Martin Dubravka's brilliant message for Karl Darlow

Martin Dubravka has sympathy for Karl Darlow at Newcastle United – after his chance was taken away from him.

Darlow was set to make his first Premier League appearance in two years after Dubravka suffered a knee injury in last month’s 1-0 win over Southampton.

However, football was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic before the goalkeeper could play a game.

And Dubravka – who has been doing his rehabilitation at home with the country in lockdown – is close to fitness ahead of a possible June restart for the Premier League.

Asked about Darlow’s situation, Dubravka said: "We’ve had a conversation on the group chat. I can understand his situation, because he was ready to go back between the goal.

"I was ready to support him, because he's been fantastic with me since I came here with the support. At the same time, the pandemic arrived.

"I would be happy if we could have kept up the season and kept going, but, at the same time, I now have the time to get ready for the next game.

"It’s more difficult for the goalkeepers, because only one can be on the pitch, but my team-mates will always be my friends – and that’s important."

Karl Darlow.

Dubravka – who signed a new long-term contract at St James’s Park earlier this season – has been a Premier League ever-present for Newcastle since making his debut for the club against Manchester United in February 2018.

Martin Dubravka.