Loris Karius urged to ‘rewrite the story of his career’ in Carabao Cup final

Loris Karius could make his Newcastle debut in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)
Loris Karius could make his Newcastle debut in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has urged Loris Karius to “rewrite the story of his career” as he steels himself for an unexpected appearance in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester United.

The 29-year-old German is perhaps best remembered for the goals he conceded in former club Liverpool’s 3-1 Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid in 2018 on what proved to be his final outing for the Reds.

However, he seems certain to line up for his first competitive match in almost two years at Wembley on Sunday after an unlikely sequence of events catapulted him up the Magpies’ pecking order, and Howe is aware of the opportunity that would present.

He said: “It would be a magnificent chance for him to rewrite the story of his career. There’s been loads of stories through the times in football where these things have happened and there’s been a really positive outcome or not.

“We can’t predict what that will be.

“As soon as it happened, it was almost that feeling that there’s another story in Karius’ career – another page or chapter to write and who knows what that chapter will look like?

“That’s the beauty of football. We never know what is going to happen. This unpredictability is what makes it such an amazing thing to watch.”

Karius, who joined Newcastle on a short-term contract in September, which has since been extended to the end of the season, arrived at St James’ Park to help provide back-up to Nick Pope alongside Karl Darlow and Mark Gillespie, with Martin Dubravka on loan at Manchester United.

Dubravka returned from Old Trafford in January, prompting Darlow’s exit for Hull for the remainder of the campaign with Karius still to make his debut.

But Pope’s dismissal during Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League defeat by Liverpool for handling outside his area – Howe confirmed the club would not appeal – coupled with the fact that Dubravka played twice in the Carabao Cup for the Red Devils, means his wait may finally be over.

The former Mainz keeper had trained on Tyneside on Saturday morning and his head coach made contact with him later that night to discuss the way forward.

I've been impressed with them today. They're match-ready

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe on his goalkeepers

Howe said: “I chat to him every day. I talk with all my players. I try to get round and speak to them all every day. We chat about different things.

“With Loris, I had a chat with him on Saturday night, I felt the need to connect with him and speak with him. He was great, very relaxed. That’s the kind of guy he is, a very cool customer.”

Karius and 30-year-old former Carlisle and Motherwell keeper Gillespie trained with their team-mates on Tuesday as Howe, his staff and players began preparations in earnest for the biggest week in their club’s recent history as they attempt to end a 54-year trophy drought and a wait for domestic sliverware which extends 14 years further.

Howe said: “Mark and Loris are fine, there’s no issues. I’ve been impressed with them today. We finished training, normal conversations, normal work.

“They’re part of a goalkeeping unit that is committed to that work every day, since pre-season started so they’ve done lots of different things within training this season that people wouldn’t have seen – training games, friendlies, they’ve been involved in all of them.

“They’re match-ready.”