Krul’s pride and McLean ready for one of the biggest games of his career
- Credit: PA
Tim Krul admitted his Holland recall was a ‘proud’ moment in his career despite losing 1-0 to Mexico in a friendly on Wednesday night.
Norwich City’s reigning player-of-the-year became the first player outside the top flight to feature for the Dutch since Pierre van Hooijdonk in 1998.
Krul was unable to re-produce his penalty heroics to foil Wolves’ frontman Raul Jimenez from the spot but did deny Jesus Corona with an excellent stop in the second period.
The 32-year-old’s international recall for his first cap since 2015 completed the circle, after suffering a major knee injury playing for his country that effectively ended his Newcastle career.
Krul has been a revelation at Carrow Road since his free transfer move and is now on course to be part of the Dutch squad for the delayed Euros next year.
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“Disappointed with the result. But never been more proud to wear the shirt after five years,” he tweeted after the game. “I watched his penalties all afternoon. That Raúl Jiménez is a real specialist, I couldn’t invent his trick. He looks for a long time (before he steps up) and not at the ball unfortunately. In the beginning I was sloppy, then it felt a lot easier and I saw the game better. I think it’s normal after such a long time, but I also have to do better.”
Club mate Kenny McLean is one of a trio of Canaries’ bidding to hopefully join Krul at the Euros. McLean label’s Scotland’s Hampden sudden death play-off against Israel on Thursday night one of the biggest games of his career.
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“If these games don’t make you excited, then you shouldn’t be here because we’ve waited so long for these opportunities,” said McLean, quoted in the Daily Record. “I’ve been involved in some big games in my career, but when you consider what it would mean to this country, the magnitude of the game and where it can take us, it’s definitely one of the biggest games of my career.
“The biggest games are always for your country. It’s such a big game. It’s the biggest game we’ve had as a country in a long time.
“We know that as players and we know how important it is for everybody, so we are ready.”
Extra-time and penalties could be required, with the winners facing either Norway or Serbia for a place at the European Championships.
Meanwhile Adam Idah is with the Republic of Ireland squad who travel to Slovakia for their play-off tie while Michael McGovern’s Northern Ireland face an away trip to Bosnia.
All three games are scheduled to kick off at 7:45pm (UK).