Shay Given disagrees with Alan Shearer's verdict on Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow

Shay Given has defended Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Stoke City goalkeeper Shay Given has told BBC's Match of the Day 2 Extra that Alan Shearer was harsh in his verdict of Newcastle's Karl Darlow.

The Magpies suffered a crushing 3-2 defeat away at Norwich City on Saturday afternoon, as whilst Newcastle twice came from behind to equalise at Carrow Road, Martin Olsson struck a late winner to rock Rafael Benitez's side.

Newcastle now sit six points adrift of safety, with Rafael Benitez still searching for his first win since becoming the club's manager last month, but the Spaniard has been dealt a major blow with Rob Elliot's season-ending injury.

The goalkeeper was deputising for the also injured Tim Krul, meaning third-string stopper Karl Darlow had to start against Norwich on Saturday afternoon, conceding three goals in the process.

25-year-old Darlow was making just his second Premier League appearance, and whilst he played over 100 times for former club Nottingham Forest before arriving at St. James' Park, he has been criticised for his relative inexperience in the top flight.

In fact, former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer was cutting in his verdict of Darlow's performance during Saturday's Match of the Day, with some concern that he can't keep Newcastle in the Premier League.

Now, ex-Magpies stopper Shay Given has told BBC's Match of the Day 2 Extra that he disagreed with Shearer's comments on Darlow, defending the goalkeeper - but did admit the situation is difficult for Benitez and Newcastle.

"Darlow came in yesterday and he's played a lot of games in the Championship," said Given. "He's played over 100 games for Nottingham Forest, so he's not an inexperienced goalkeeper - he's inexperienced in the Premier League, and I suppose that makes a difference."

"I thought Alan Shearer was a bit harsh last night on Match of the Day - he hates goalkeepers! I think it was the second goal; with the power and the ferociousness, it sort of flew past him. He made a great save in the first half Darlow, but it's not ideal to lose two goalkeepers in one season," he added.

What did you think of Darlow's performance against Norwich?

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