Steve Harper has a message for Newcastle United fans about Jak Alnwick

The Hull City goalkeeper wants encouragement, not criticism, when the 21-year-old faces Sunderland on Sunday afternoon.

It's been a rough ride for Jak Alnwick this past week.

The 21-year-old was Newcastle's hero of the hour just days ago when Alan Pardew's side beat previously undefeated Chelsea 2-1 at St James' Park.

That day, Alnwick was the unexpected main character in a wonderful plot for the Magpies, as he impressed after replacing the injured Rob Elliot.

Since, he has conceded eight goals in four games - some of them through individual mistakes - and also suffered injury problems.

Alnwick has been passed fit for Sunday's vital Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland, however, according to the Shields Gazette, meaning things will get no easier for the young goalkeeper.

But former Newcastle - and current Hull City - shot stopper Steve Harper has a message for the Toon Army when it comes to the 21-year-old facing Sunderland on Sunday.

Indeed, the Hull man feels Newcastle's supporters should give the 'keeper a 'proper Geordie reception' and back him all the way, laying off the criticism.

Newcastle host Sunderland at 1.30pm British Time on Sunday afternoon.

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