Former Newcastle United star Keith Gillespie has hailed Martin Dubravka’s form at the club but has told Football FanCast that Karl Darlow can feel unlucky that he is now sitting on the bench.
Dubravka missed the first 15 games of the season, due to a heel injury, but he returned to the substitutes’ bench for the 0-0 draw with Liverpool in December.
Since then, he has had to watch on from the bench but made his return against Wolves in February, and has been in goal for the Magpies ever since.
Newcastle have only lost one of those games, a 3-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, and he has kept one clean sheet, against West Bromwich Albion.
Darlow has subsequently been relegated to the bench, having played in 25 games, conceding 43 goals and keeping four clean sheets.
And Gillespie, who played for the club between 1995 and 1998, believes that Darlow played well enough at the start of the season to potentially earn an England call-up, though he has praised the form of Dubravka recently.
He told FFC: “He’s been fantastic since he came to the club. He had to bide his time once he came back from injury and for me, Darlow was probably one of Newcastle’s best players this season in the early parts.
“He could probably say he’s a little bit unlucky to all of a sudden lose his place because I remember watching a few months ago and talking Karl Darlow up in terms of possible England recognition, and now all of a sudden he finds himself on the bench.
“Again, it’s a big call from the manager to make that decision.”