Toon stopper looks for luck
Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul is convinced they need a change of luck to get their season back on track.
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The Magpies head for Southampton on Sunday with injuries and suspension once again severely limiting manager Alan Pardew's options as they attempt to improve upon a run of just one Barclays Premier League victory in seven attempts.
They will do so with dangerman Hatem Ben Arfa sitting at home alongside banned skipper Fabricio Coloccini after damaging a hamstring in Thursday night's 1-1 Europa League draw with Maritimo.
Ben Arfa's absence, coupled with a return of precisely no points from winnable home games against West Ham and Swansea, has left a pall hanging over St James' Park, although 24-year-old Holland international Krul is confident that situation can be remedied very quickly.
He said: "It's just a bit of luck, I honestly think so. If we could just nick that goal and go on, I think we will win games.
"I don't think we have had a lot of luck at all in the last couple of home games.
"It is a bit of a rough patch and we just have to take it as it comes. We have got Southampton on Sunday then Stoke on Wednesday night.
"They are going to be two hard games, but we need to get back to the spirit and just stick together."
Newcastle's return to prominence last season was characterised by the kind of fortune which has so far eluded them this time around.
Injuries to key men proved largely irrelevant as the likes of Mike Williamson and James Perch stepped seamlessly into the team, while Demba Ba's lack of goals during the second half of the season following a blistering start to his career on Tyneside was mitigated by January signing Papiss Cisse's sustained salvo.
However this time around, disciplinary problems for Coloccini and midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote - the former completes his ban tomorrow while the latter returns from a one-game European punishment - and an injury list which seems to grow by the game have left Pardew struggling to plug gaps.
Krul acknowledges that the current campaign is proving more trying than the last, but he is hoping that the spirit which served them so well last time around will come to the fore once again.
He said: "It is and that's why we have to stick together. Last year, everything went for us, people stepping in, we were lucky with injuries to a certain extent.
"But this is part of football as well now and we have to get on with it."
Ordinarily, the Magpies would have travelled to the South Coast firmly believing they could return with a victory, but they know they will need to be much better than they have been in their last three fixtures if they are to get any change out of a side which boosted their survival hopes with a fine 3-1 win at QPR last weekend.
Krul said: "We need a win on Sunday. We need to get back to winning ways. But I think we have got a good chance on Sunday.
"They had a good win at QPR last weekend and especially at their place, they are a hard team to beat, so we need to be on it.
"It's one win, it's one win we need and that's it, everything will turn around."
Whatever happens over the next few weeks, Newcastle will head into 2013 with European football still on the agenda after booking their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League as a result of the draw with Maritimo.
They will need to win in Bordeaux next month to secure top spot in Group D and avoid a possible clash with one of the Champions League drop-outs in the last 32, but Krul is relaxed about the draw, which takes place in Nyon on December 20.
He said: "The Champions League teams are dropping down and it's all about the luck of the draw. We will just take it from there."