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Krul remains calm despite Ba departure
TIM Krul insists Newcastle United's players are unconcerned about Demba Ba's departure for Chelsea, but admits the club find themselves embroiled in a relegation battle.
Ba's £7.5m move to Stamford Bridge has left the Magpies with just two senior strikers on their books, and there is clearly a need to secure at least one proven replacement before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
However, there is no sense of panic within the Newcastle dressing room as the existence of a much-publicised buy-out clause in Ba's contract meant there was always a high likelihood of the Senegal international leaving this month.
"Fair play to the lad for going to Chelsea," said Krul, who is likely to be rested when Newcastle travel to Brighton in the FA Cup third round tomorrow. "He's done magnificent for us and I think he deserves his move.
"I don't think we're shell-shocked about that because we knew it was hanging over us anyway. As long as we get a good replacement, that's the most important thing."
Ba has left a Newcastle side mired in trouble close to the foot of the Premier League table.
Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Everton made it nine defeats in the last 11 league games, a run that has culminated in the Magpies conceding 13 goals in their last three matches.
With the likes of QPR and Southampton showing signs of improvement, no one is taking anything for granted and Krul is aware of just what is at stake in the second half of the campaign.
"We're in a battle, don't get us wrong," he said. "We're down there and we should see this as a massive battle.
"But we're creating good chances and we're playing well, to a certain extent. We're just not getting the breaks. If the ball against the post (against Everton) goes in, we're two nil up. They're little things, but they're massive things.
"It just doesn't seem to be falling for us. But we need to put it in perspective as well. We've played three really tough sides in the last week and we just need to look at the next three matches. They're massive."
Mentally, Newcastle's recent run must be taking a toll on Krul, a player who impressed throughout the whole of last season as he forced his way into the first team ahead of Steve Harper.
The Dutch international picked the ball out of his net on seven separate occasions at the Emirates, but his three first-half saves against Everton confirmed his continued well-being.
"The manager gave me the chance as number one and I hope I can repay him again," said Krul. "It's been a hard season for us. Last year everything went for us, this year we're getting smacked in the face a few times.
"It hurts me a lot. We don't deserve it. When you're putting such a massive shift in and you've got zero points again, it hurts. I can't get my head around those sort of things, but we need to look on the bright side.
"We've got (Mathieu) Debuchy coming in, and after the FA Cup we've got Norwich, Reading and Aston Villa. We've definitely got a better squad than those three teams and we need to get three points against all of them."