Tim Krul reveals team meeting that helped turn Newcastle’s season around

Tim Krul collects the ball from the head of Radamel Falcao
Tim Krul collects the ball from the head of Radamel Falcao

Tim Krul says Newcastle United’s players finally gave the club’s fans something to shout about – after finding their voices.

Steve McClaren’s side were denied their first Premier League win of the season by an 86th-minute goal from Chelsea substitute Willian on Saturday.

Chelsea's Ramires scores

Chelsea's Ramires scores

The strike earned Jose Mourinho’s team a point from a 2-2 draw at St James’s Park.

And Krul said: “I gave some quotes saying that we needed to be men and I think that’s what we showed.”

United, seemingly in crisis before the game, had led 2-0 thanks to goals from Ayoze Perez and Georginio Wijnaldum, but Ramires sparked a comeback with a stunning 60th-minute goal after coming off the bench.

Krul had called on Newcastle’s players to be “men” on the pitch before the match, which followed an abject Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday’s reserves three days earlier.

Some strong words were said after (the cup game). We had some meetings about it. It wasn’t good enough. It was far below par.

Tim Krul

United had lacked leadership in the cup loss and the two Premier League defeats which preceded it.

And the goalkeeper – who denied Ramires a winner for Chelsea with a fine late save – felt the team’s improvement was down to talking on and off the pitch, with McClaren and his squad having held a series of clear-the-air meetings.

“We need more people speaking, but unfortunately that’s not the style of some of the players,” said Krul.

“It needs to happen, and it has happened. People need to take more responsibility, and I think we did that.

“Some strong words were said after (the cup game). We had some meetings about it. It wasn’t good enough. It was far below par.

“We know that, but at least we showed a reaction.

“That’s the reaction we should have shown two or three weeks ago, but at least we’re showing something. That’s something to build on.

“It’s a shame it wasn’t three points, but I think the first-half performance was top class.”

Krul believes 19th-placed United have now set a “standard” ahead of Saturday’s game at the Etihad Stadium against second-placed Manchester City.

The Holland international said: “That’s the standard we set.

“We showed that we’re capable. The fans reacted to that, and it was a shame to throw a two-goal lead away, but you can’t complain about a finish like that from Ramires.”

Newcastle’s better performances this season have come against three of last season’s top four, with the team having drawn against Manchester United at Old Trafford and played well against Arsenal at home.

And Krul has acknowledged the need for “consistency”.

The 27-year-old said: “It’s always easier when people don’t expect us to get anything.

“But we need to be more consistent. But we’re showing signs. The manager said it. It’s going to be a long journey with ups and downs, but this is the start.”