Newcastle United face Derby County on Saturday and former England goalkeeper Scott Carson, says that ‘To think Newcastle United are in the Championship is crazy’.

Carson also revealed that he actually had a trial at Newcastle United as a kid but eventually joined Leeds United from non-league Workington, then moving on to Liverpool after a couple of years at Elland Road.

Having grown up in Whitehaven in Cumbria, the Derby keeper says that Newcastle United was the closest big club when he was a kid, with many of his mates supporting the Magpies.

As he points out, Scott Carson was also in the Championship when Newcastle previously visited the second tier, United going up as Champions and West Brom 11 points behind with 91 points and the second automatic promotion spot.

Moving forward to the present day, Derby have struggled early on and he talks about the ‘amount of quality that is going to be in their (Newcastle’s) team’ when Derby face them at the weekend.

As Rafa Benitez keeps reminding everybody, massive club or not, all that matters is what happens on the pitch and no doubt he will have been drilling that into the Newcastle squad in advance of the game, when NUFC could make it five wins in a row.

Scott Carson of course earning the wrong kind of notoriety when Steve McClaren made the calamitous choice of throwing in the goalkeeper for his first competitive England game against Croatia in that crucial qualifier for the 2008 Euros – Carson making a terrible mistake that cost England their Euros place and McClaren his job.

Scott Carson speaking to the  official Derby County site:

“It’s the closest big team to where I grew up. A lot of my friends support Newcastle too.

“I had a trial there when I was a kid and even then you could see how big a club it was. It was massive.

“To think Newcastle United are in the Championship is crazy.

“When I was at West Brom too they were in the Championship and they got it right and managed to get straight back into the Premier League.

“Saturday is a massive game for us. You only have to look through their team sheet to see the amount of quality that is going to be in their team.

“These back-to-back home games are so important and Newcastle first of all is going to be tough; they are having a really good go at getting promoted back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

“The next couple of games are about us getting back to playing to a level we know are capable of. Out of the first five games I don’t think we have been near our best.”