Steve Harper: Newcastle can bounce back after mixed season

Steve Harper

Departing goalkeeper Steve Harper is confident Newcastle United can overcome the disappointment of this season's bottom-half Premier League finish.

United qualified for the Europa League last term but struggled to emulate that form without summer strengthening.

However, Harper expects boss Alan Pardew and the board to adopt a different approach next season.

"The important thing is lessons have been learned across the board from top to bottom," Harper told BBC Newcastle.

"The owner [Mike Ashley] and the chief executive [Derek Llambias] came into the training ground and said as much themselves.

"It's good to know those lessons have been learned and will be taken on board by everybody.

"Hopefully we can build this club back up into the top half and pushing towards European football."

A total of 19 years and 11 months of service, and 199 first-team appearances, came to an end for Harper with Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Arsenal.

The high point of his final appearance was the 37th-minute round of applause from supporters, in recognition of his squad number.

"[It was] a little bit emotional, the 37th minute got to me, I was all right up to then but that was tough," Harper said.

"Then [Lukas] Podolski came through one-on-one and smashed it between my legs and pulled me right out of it, I couldn't get emotional after that.

"It was a great day, a send-off that was much appreciated although I don't think I'm worthy of a send-off like that.

"It was incredible, I said to the lads if I had half the ability of some of the players in there then things might have been different.

"If you put a shift in at this football club day in day out, that's the reaction you get from people - they just want to see you give your all."

Top Stories