Tim Krul’s backing Rafa Benitez to turn Newcastle United into a “force” to be reckoned with in the Premier League.
The goalkeeper looking to end his season at loan club AZ Alkmaar on a high before reporting back to the promoted club in July.
Krul has regained his fitness during a demanding loan in Holland this season.
And the 29-year-old hopes to help AZ, facing FC Utrecht in a two-legged play-off final, qualify for next season’s Europa League.
Krul, under contract at St James’s Park for another year, will return to Newcastle on July 3 for the start of pre-season training ahead of the club’s return to the Premier League.
Asked about returning to United, Krul said: “It’s been a while – I’m looking forward to going back there after completing my loan at AZ.
“I’ve been at Newcastle for 11 seasons. It’s part of my life – a massive part of my life.
“My wife is from Newcastle. My little girl was born in Newcastle.
“I’ve got more links to Newcastle than just football. That’s something to be massively proud of.”
We’ve got a world-class manager, and Newcastle has massive potential.Tim Krul
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez reaffirmed his commitment to the club in the wake of talks with owner Mike Ashley this month.
“We’ve got a world-class manager, and Newcastle has massive potential,” said Krul, who was injured when the Spaniard arrived at United last season.
“That’s the chemistry that should work.
“It’s not going to be easy, because the Premier League is a different story, but there’s a positive vibe with the fans fully behind the club again.
“With the right additions, they could be a force, because the team spirit they have now is like what we had when we got promoted. That kick-starts you in the Premier League.”