Eddie Howe has urged Newcastle United goalkeeper Loris Karius to “rewrite the story of his career” when he plays against Man Utd in the Carabao Cup final.
The goalkeeper is best remembered for the goals he conceded in Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final in 2018. This proved to be his final game for the Reds.
However, he looks certain to start for Newcastle at Wembley after an unexpected sequence of events catapulted him up the pecking order.
Howe 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.
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.
READ MORE: Players of the season list highlights Liverpool and Arsenal missing injured forwards