‘He’s better than he was three years ago’ - City keeper’s verdict on veteran

Alex Tettey is still the go-to man at the heart of City's midfield. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus I

Alex Tettey is still the go-to man at the heart of City's midfield. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Tim Krul has paid tribute to his fellow ‘senior citizen’ Alex Tettey - saying the midfielder has got better with age.

At 33, Tettey hardly fits the player demographic at Carrow Road, but he has defied the odds to become an integral part of Daniel Farke's first team plans.

"He makes jokes that he's the old one but he's grafting every day and he's even doing two games a week now, so he's better than he was three years ago!" laughed Krul, 31. "I've got a lot of respect for Alex because he's not just a top player but a top guy as well - what you see is what you get with him, he's one of those guys that I can't praise enough."

Both men have experienced the ups and downs of football - and Krul believes City's current troubles are a poor reflection of the efforts. "He (Tettey) has been there and we've spoken about it, because I've been in teams in a relegation battle who are not moving any more in the way the manager wanted - and we are literally sometimes flawless in the way we are playing," said Krul.

"So it's kind of weird, it doesn't feel like we're bottom but the reality is we are and we need to get out of it fighting, and that's the hard part. That's why it's so frustrating that we haven't got those four, five or six extra points over Christmas. Tottenham at home, even Crystal Palace, we didn't get the points we deserved, that was a shocker, a punch in the face.

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"People need to remember that we are so close because West Ham are not far away."

City have a free weekend ahead because of the winter break and resume the battle for Premier League survival at home to champions-elect Liverpool.

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"We all need a break, it's good, because a few of the young ones have been pushing to get the body healed up," said Krul. "Teemu (Pukki) with his toe, Max (Aarons) has a toe thing, everyone has a little niggle, so it will be nice to finally get rid of them and get ready for that final 13 games."

Facing the European and world champions is a daunting prospect, but Krul believes it will be another big Carrow Road occasion.

He said: "The fans, with the flags and atmosphere and everything, the way this club has grown from the moment I arrived, to seeing that walking out in the last home game. This club is on the up, everybody in the city is behind us and I'll be proud to see that again."

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