Martin Dubravka and Newcastle United don’t have any competitive football for three weeks but the loan keeper says that is immaterial.

The 29 year old thinks the players have to keep their focus only on the next game, which for him is the friendly against Royal Antwerp on Sunday, not the key relegation match at home to Huddersfield in two weeks time.

However, Dubravka also believes this Spanish break is invaluable in terms of getting to know the rest of the players better, in a more relaxed environment.

Difficult to believe it is less than five weeks ago that Martin Dubravka made his debut for Newcastle, such has been his impressive impact.

Thrown in on his debut against Man Utd it was a clean sheet and man of the match, then with a draw at Bournemouth and victory over Southampton, it is seven points from a possible 12, only negative the defeat at Anfield.

Those seven points have meant that Newcastle could fly off to Spain five points above the relegation zone and with a superior goal difference.

As well as the break and friendly in Spain, the keeper also has a reunion with his international team-mates to look forward to.

Even though he is dreading a 10 hour flight to Thailand for a friendly with the UAE, he is ‘really looking forward to playing again’ with Slovakia.

It has been an astonishing last nine months for Newcastle’s new number one.

Dubravka started his first competitive game for Slovakia only in June 2017 at the age of 28.

Then having turned 29 in January, he next signs for Newcastle in the Premier League, having only previously played in the very weak, Slovakian, Danish and Czech leagues.

It didn’t register for us at the time but his third competitive international match came at Wembley last September, when England went a goal down after three minutes but rather luckily came back and won through goals from Dier and Alli. Martin Dubravka had an excellent game and you can watch the highlights of the game below.

You get a sense that Dubravka is now determined to make the most of getting these relatively late chances at the top level, both for club and country.

This can only be of benefit to Newcastle United and assuming he keeps his form and a permanent deal is completed in the summer, the club could once again have a keeper in place who can be a massive presence at the back and help the defence in front of them.

Martin Dubravka:

“I am really looking forward to playing for the national team again but it’s a long way to Thailand…I don’t like to travel for 10 hours on a plane.

“But I am really looking forward to playing again with the national team, we are like a family.

“That is why we were successful in the few games before I came to England.

“I am (also) really looking forward to spending this time with my (Newcastle) team-mates (in Spain), you need to spend time with the players in your squad to be able to get to know them better.

“It’s only four days but the weather is great in Spain and we can enjoy training outside, (then) spend some time doing fun activity after training.

“It is important to keep the mind focused but also enjoy some fun with my team-mates, get to know them better.

“Huddersfield is a huge game but our focus is only on playing against Royal Antwerp.

“If we looked only into the game against Huddersfield, then we will not be ready in our minds for this game (against Royal Antwerp) and we want to win it.”

  • Wor Lass

    He`s living proof that rafa actually knows what he`s talking about. Along with many on here, I didn`t think we needed a keeper but he has proven us all wrong!

    • TheNutJob

      speak for yourself

      • Wor Lass

        As ever. It`easy when there`s only one of you! Oops .. ha ha!

    • Stephen Paylor

      agreed, that’s what i thought too,

  • Paul Patterson

    The second we are mathematically safe, trigger the £5m clause and sort one position out for next season as easy as that. He’s quality and has reassured the defence with Lascelles as well.
    This squad needs five players and it will have enough for safety before Christmas 2018. That however is the problem- will there be enough money to go around? I doubt it.

  • Jimmy_toons

    Good keeper in the making, and step up from what we had at United. Hopefully he’ll be around for years to come, although if he’s turns out to be very good, he’ll be sold as soon as.

  • Wor Monga

    Every great manager builds his teams from the back…it’s the hallmark of a successful team, and the solid anchor for that is the keeper… He can see defenders being drawn out of position or not concentrating, and has the character and nous to communicate it…however they must not only control the area but must also be able to operate effectively as a sweeper and use that ability to accurately start attacks…

    …Darlow and Elliot are both decent shot stoppers, but they have never controlled or installed much confidence in our defence or accurately started attacks, at the highest level…Rafa knew this when he came in, and Sels looked strong and capable when he started, but totally lacked confidence to shout when it mattered and ended up like a fish out of water, but we have already seen how capable Dubravka is after 3 games…

    …and that’s not just a form thing it’s more the keeper having the confidence, strength of character and grounding in the game to know exactly what’s expected of him!!!

  • Kneebotherm8

    A goalkeeper at 29 should be at his peak with a good few playing years ahead of him(with us hopefully)…

  • Mike

    odd isnt it some were slagging off Rafa for wanting a keeper……..are they doing that now?
    What a difference he has made at the back. Trust Raffa

    • Philippines

      Guilty as charged although I didn’t ‘slag’ Rafa.

  • gallowgate26

    Thankfully, apart from the odd season, goalkeeping tends to be a position where we are well covered. Get Dubravka signed up permanently, It may be that Darlow can go out on loan to the championship. I think he needs more development there as he’s only cover in the PL (IMO). Elliot is a capable deputy to Dubravka next season. Woodman needs to play games on loan also and have the option to recall either of those two if one of the senior ‘keepers are injured or suspended.

    • Stephen Paylor

      that would be my plan also