Algarve trip provides silver lining for Krul.
TIM KRUL is delighted Newcastle United will be leaving the Algarve with silverware - but has warned: "The real stuff starts soon."
Having played his part in helping the Magpies lift the Trofeu Internacional Futebol do Guadiana by keeping Olympiacos at bay, Krul was pleased with his first appearance of the summer.
Having shared goalkeeping duties with Steve Harper - who starred against SC Braga on Saturday night - during the weekend tournament, he feels the trip could hardly have gone better. Yet his main focus is August 18 when Tottenham Hotspur head to Tyneside for the Premier League curtain-raiser.
Krul told the Chronicle from the Algarve: "We are down to three weeks now and all the lads are focused.
"When we get back to Newcastle we will crack on.
"We will get into a routine, building up to games at the weekend.
"We want to win every game we play.
"However, it is important to get fitness up in the friendlies.
"The boys work hard and everybody has had game over here."
Having held a series of open training sessions in the plush Vale do Lobo area of the Algarve, United's will to win has been there for all to see with training set at a competitive but sensible level.
This was a perfect build-up to the two games against Olympiacos and SC Braga.
Both games were played at a ferocious pace and both foreign opponents had men sent off as tackles flew in left, right and centre.
For Krul, taking on the 39-time Greek champions was his first appearance of pre-season.
He made some key blocks in the 1-1 draw and saved a penalty in the subsequent shoot-out which also ended all square in unprecedented circumstances for the black and whites as they drew their first penalty contest.
Looking back on Friday night's action, Krul added: "I enjoyed it, it was my first game of the season and hopefully there is more to come.
"It was nice to get going. I love competitiveness.
"It is nice to work with Andy Woodman but it is good to play games.
"It is good practice. You get more out of it. There is a bit of extra pressure on the boys.
"The penalties were good practice for Europe, as we could be in that situation."
One gripe after the Olympiacos game was the fact Newcastle failed to see the game out in normal time.
Like the 1-1 draw with Fenerbahce a week earlier, United caved in late in the game.
However, this was rectified when Newcastle edged home to beat Braga with goals from Demba Ba and Ryan Taylor.
Krul said: "Against Olympiacos we played all right. We played the ball out from the back more.
"That was our main aim and what the gaffer asked us to do. We did it and it worked very well."
Another big highlight of the tournament in Portugal has been the return of Steven Taylor - who came through Friday's game with Olympiacos unscathed after a seven-month absence.
Krul added: "It was nice to see Steven back. He's been out so long and has worked hard to get back.
"He scored too, which was really nice to see.
"It has been a hard time for him."
HAPPY TAYL Tim Krul, pictured in action in Portugal, was pleased to see Steven Taylor back