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Playing for keeps

Posted on 9 February 2012  - 19:12

Tony Parks has described Brad Friedel as 'phenomenal' as he prepares to go head-to-head with one of the most highly-rated young goalkeepers in the Premier League.

Playing for keeps

Now 40, Brad took his incredible run of consecutive appearances in the Premier League to 290 in Monday's goalless draw at Anfield.

That was his ninth clean sheet in 24 matches this term as we sit third in the table.

"Brad plays with a freedom and a knowledge that he knows what his strengths are and he plays to those strengths, week in week out," said Tony.

"Add that to the fact that he keeps himself unbelievably fit, for a 40-year-old man to play at the level he plays at is phenomenal.

"He's a top, top trainer. He hasn't missed a day's training.

"He also has two fantastic goalkeepers at the club alongside him in Carlo and Gomes, so Brad knows he has to perform to keep his place. I can't speak highly enough of him. He's a fantastic goalkeeper."

High-flying Newcastle provide our next challenge at White Hart Lane on Saturday and while the goals of Demba Ba have caught the eye this term, Tim Krul has quickly built a reputation as one of the best goalkeepers around.

"He's been as good as any goalkeeper in the Premier League, he's right up there," said Tony, who has tracked Krul's career.

"He's a lad I know quite well because when I was working at the FA, we played Hollland on a number of occasions and came up against him.

"I thought he did particularly well when he broke into the team when they were in the Championship.

"Newcastle have also managed him perfectly from a goalkeeper's point of view. They played him, rested him, played him and this season they've given him the freedom to go and produce.

"He's tall, strong, he's got all the tools to be one of the top goalkeepers in the world in years to come."

As for Saturday's encounter, Tony added: "Newcastle keep picking up points and had another good win against Villa last week.

"We had a great result in terms of keeping a clean sheet and not getting beaten at Anfield and that becomes an even better point if we pick up three on Saturday."