This last week or so won’t be one that Newcastle United ‘keeper, Loris Karius will forget in a hurry, being yanked from the depths of fourth-choice goalkeeper to starting in a cup final. Now he has shared how he reacted seeing Nick Pope being sent off against Liverpool.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Carabao Cup Final
Photo by Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Karius ‘didn’t realise’ what Pope’s red card meant for him

As bad as it was seeing Nick Pope given his marching orders when Newcastle were already 2-0 down against Liverpool, the sudden realisation that it would mean we’d be without him for the Carabao Cup final kicked in and made the situation worse.

Then on top of that it became apparent that our back-up goalie, Martin Dubravka would also not be able to play, and this was just a couple of weeks after letting third-choice, Karl Darlow go out on loan, meaning that next in line was Loris Karius who hadn’t kicked a ball in a competitive game for the Magpies.

It was a realisation that hit fans before it had even dawned on Karius himself, it seems, with the German stopper saying: “I was watching the game, obviously, and I didn’t realise, maybe, in the first moment that he [Dubravka] was cup-tied. For example in Germany, I think it’s different,” Karius said to The Independent.

“But then obviously my phone went off quite a bit, so I knew I would probably be playing the week after.

“That wakes you up, obviously, in the first moment. I know things can change quickly, but from then on, it was just having a great week to go into a game like this full of confidence.”

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Carabao Cup Final
Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

Karius gave a great performance at Wembley

There probably aren’t many clubs who can claim to have a goalkeeper with Karius’ experience as their fourth-choice and it was lucky that Newcastle were one such club. When Martin Dubravka returned to the club in January it was believed that Karius would be let go, he was brought in to fill the gap Dubravka’s loan move left after all, but in the end, Karius was offered a contract extension and Karl Darlow was allowed to leave on loan.

I dare bet that not in Eddie Howe‘s wildest dreams did he see the situation that unfolded coming down the line when he sanctioned those moves.

Despite shipping two goals at Wembley, Karius had a great game. I portion no blame on him for either goal, and aside from those efforts, he made some outstanding saves to keep the score line down. Whatever happens in the future, Loris Karius can hold his head up high and will likely never have to buy a pint in Newcastle ever again.

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