Krul eyes Newcastle return against Chelsea

Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul is hopeful he will be fit to face Chelsea this weekend after making his return to action.

Krul has been sidelined with an ankle injury since the end of November but was able to play 45 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Celtic on Thursday.

Having come through that test without any issues, the Dutchman is optimistic over his chances of facing the Premier League leaders at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

"Game situations are always different to the ones you get in training, and better too, which is why I wanted to play in this game," Krul told Newcastle's official website after facing Celtic.

"I'm pleased to get back on the pitch and get back in my rhythm.

"My ankle is feeling really good. It's strong and I'm not feeling any problem at all.

"I'm dying to be back because I'm not very good at watching games from the sidelines. We've got a great game on Saturday against Chelsea so hopefully I can get through the next couple of days and be back in contention for the weekend.

"I've been training hard to be back and hopefully the moment is there on Saturday."

In the absence of Krul and second-choice keeper Rob Elliot [thigh], Newcastle have fielded 21-year-old Jak Alnwick in recent weeks.

"I think Jak has done great," added Krul.

"The run he's been in goal, there have been no easy games at all. And for someone who hasn't had a run of [first-team] games before in his career, I think he's been amazing.

"It's natural that he is going to make mistakes - I did that when I first came into the team, and every goalkeeper does - but he will become a better goalkeeper for this experience.

"It has been so valuable to his education playing at places like Tottenham and Arsenal and in a massive match like the Tyne-Wear derby, and he will look back at this time and realise just how good it has been for him."