Freddie Woodman is hoping his luck will change sooner rather than later as the goalkeeper attempts to help Newcastle belatedly kick-start their season.
The 24-year-old, who has been thrust into the limelight by Martin Dubravka’s foot injury and the bout of Covid-19 which has sidelined deputy Karl Darlow, saw the Magpies slip out of the Carabao Cup in the second round on Wednesday despite his clean sheet and penalty shoot-out save from Josh Brownhill.
Woodman, who also saved Michail Antonio’s spot-kick in a 4-2 Premier League defeat by West Ham only for Tomas Soucek to convert the rebound, is yet to finish on the winning side in his three games to date this season and is desperate for that to change when Southampton visit St James’ Park on Saturday.
He told NUFC TV: “It’s the life of a goalie, isn’t it? People keep telling me things are going to change soon and luck will be on my side. Hopefully that’s sooner rather than later.”
Woodman had little to do during a 90 minutes which saw Newcastle gradually build up a head of steam and create more than enough chances to win the tie.
The Clarets were indebted to his opposite number Wayne Hennessey, who marked his competitive debut for the club with a string of fine saves, including crucial stops from Jeff Hendrick and Dwight Gayle, who had earlier been denied by the crossbar, to keep the match goalless.
The Wales international then excelled in the shoot-out, saving from Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron – the pair, as well as big-money summer signing Joe Willock, had arrived as second-half substitutes as Steve Bruce looked for a winner – to pave the way for a 4-3 victory and a third-round clash with League Two Rochdale.
Woodman said: “Their goalkeeper, Hennessey, I thought he was brilliant. He made some really top saves.
“But saying that, I think we can take a lot of positives from the game, especially the way we played in 90 minutes, so we’re disappointed, but there’s a lot to take from this game.
“We have to pick ourselves up and go again on Saturday and take the positives from this game into the Southampton match.”
Where Bruce made nine changes, Burnley boss Sean Dyche made six, one of them to include 34-year-old midfielder Aaron Lennon, whose return to the club after a spell in Turkey had been confirmed just hours before kick-off.
Dyche, whose summer recruitment drive is ongoing, told the club’s official website: “He has been a very good pro for us here, he knows how the players work and he knows the environment.
“He works for us, he’s diligent, he’s a good pro, he’s good around the group and he’s got a good energy about him.
“I didn’t want to lose him in the first place and he’s back here.”
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