After the terrific performance and draw against Liverpool on Saturday, Steve Bruce was asked about Karl Darlow’s performance as well as the return of Martin Dubravka, who made his first matchday squad on Wednesday.
Bruce was very straight with his response and revealed that Karl Darlow would continue as his number one for the time being. This is some of what Bruce said:
“I’m in a fortunate position. Karl has waited patiently for his chance because of the form of Dúbravka, but at the moment, he’s the number one because of the performances he’s put in.”
As Bruce said it’s a good position to be in for a head coach. He’s got two quality players battling it out which should keep them on their toes in training and in matches.
Despite Dubravka’s outstanding season a year ago, Bruce really can’t drop Darlow at the moment. While it’s tough on Martin, who has done nothing wrong and put in similar performances last season, it may send the wrong message to the rest of the squad.
Darlow has never complained, waited patiently, and trained very hard which pushed Dubravka over the past few seasons. So the roles are reversed now and it’s Dubravka who’s got to wait his turn and push Karl in training
Hopefully, if Dubravka doesn’t unseat Darlow, it won’t affect his place in the Slovakian national team, who have qualified for the European Championships next summer.
Darlow will feel even pressure now that Dubravka is available. If Wednesday night’s performance is anything to go by, he is more than ready for the challenge. Karl put in another masterful display and has won his third straight of our best player polls with almost 65% of the vote.
He’s been our Player of the Season so far and he may even get an England call-up if he can keep putting in performances like Wednesday night.