Kevin Phillips has lauded Martin Dubravka whilst also heaping praise on Steve Bruce after Newcastle United beat Sheffield United 3-0 in the Premier League on Sunday.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Sunderland and English international striker said that the return of the keeper is important for the Tyneside club as he also hailed Bruce after he guided his team to a rather impressive win against Chris Wilder’s European-chasing side.
When asked by the outlet for his reaction to the victory at St. James’ Park, Phillips said: “It was massive for Steve Bruce.
“I felt sorry for Steve at times this season with the amount of injuries he has had this season.
“This break was not wanted but I think Newcastle made the most of it. He had virtually a fully fit squad to pick from and having your number one goalkeeper back, Dubravka is crucial. He is a great goalkeeper.
“I do not see them getting sucked into a relegation scrap now, they will be fine. Steve has done a fantastic job so when they do survive you would have to give him a lot of credit for that.”
Indeed, several players came back from various injury issues as Dubravka was one of them to be able to use the time during lock down to train and fully recover in time for the Premier League to restart.
The 31-year old has now had 10 clean sheets in 31 appearances in all competitions after Sunday’s shutout, according to Transfermarkt.
Dubravka has still not missed a minute of football in the English top flight, further showing just how crucial the Slovakian international has been in keeping the Magpies safe from the relegation zone, as per the website.
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The fact that he was able to keep the ball out of the net when called upon has helped move the Toon stay in 13th place in the top flight table on 38 points, 11 away from the drop zone with just eight matches left to play.
With the proposed takeover looming large in the North East, perhaps the would-be owners will want to keep hold of Dubravka as their first-choice goalkeeper given his relatively impressive form for NUFC so far in the 2019/20 season.
Geordies, should Dubravka remain between the sticks next campaign? Comment below!
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