TIM Krul has denied he waited in the tunnel to congratulate Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe on his stunning Wear-Tyne derby strike.
TV pictures showed the Newcastle United goalkeeper’s exchange with Defoe as they left the pitch at half-time.
Listen, I’ve been at this club for 10 years and I’m as hurt as anybody else, so whoever wants to put this negative light on me ... it’s not justified.
But although Krul later insisted the images had been misinterpreted amid criticism on social media.
Sky Sports studio pundit Jamie Carragher also called Krul’s conduct a “mistake” – but Krul stressed he had NOT stepped out of line.
Krul said: “What I actually thought I probably can’t repeat on television, because it wasn’t nice.
“It was a fantastic goal and everyone accepts that. What I actually thought was more in the region of ‘what a lucky guy he is’, but with a bit more venom behind it.
“Listen, I’ve been at this club for 10 years and I’m as hurt as anybody else, so whoever wants to put this negative light on me ... it’s not justified.
“I’m a Geordie. I’ve been here 10 years and I’m going home with a lot of pain in my heart.”
Carragher, the former Liverpool defender, looked at the incident that saw Krul pat matchwinner Defoe on the back of the head, and said: “What he did was a mistake.
“I wouldn’t do it – I wouldn’t want to see one of my own team do it.”
Newcastle head coach John Carver was quick to leap to Krul’s defence.
Carver said: “Tim Krul is the most passionate guy about this football club. He has been here since he was a young player and he loves this football club, he loves the fans.
“But sometimes when somebody had a bit of brilliance like that, professional people appreciate it and maybe that’s why that happened.”