Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper is looking forward to tonight's Europa League tie with Maritimo.

The goalkeeper made his first senior appearance for the club in almost 17 months in the away leg of the play-off against Greek side Atromitos last month, and as a result of number one Tim Krul's elbow injury, returned to Barclays Premier League action at Everton.

Asked if he thought he would ever play in Europe again, Harper said: "Last year, probably not. But this year it's well-documented the conversation I had with the manager.

"He said we had a lot of games and if I still wanted it, it was there for me, so at the start of the year there was light at the end of the tunnel and here I am."