Harper has no Newcastle regrets

Steve Harper has no regrets about deciding to stay at Newcastle after his busiest-ever Premier League season.

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The 33-year-old goalkeeper has spent much of the past 11 years sitting in the shadow of Republic of Ireland international Shay Given.

However he took full advantage of his close friend's injury woes last term to get in 19 top-flight starts - one more than he managed after briefly ousting Given as number one during the 1999-2000 campaign.

He said: "Looking at my time here, it seems a long time since 1999-2000, and even though I managed more league and cup matches that season, this has been my best in the Premier League and obviously I am delighted at that.

"All I have ever said was that I wanted to play week in, week out.

"In the last 18 months, I have played the best part of 45 games. It's all I ever wanted to do.

"There were two or three years when people forget about you. You are out of sight, and out of mind.

"People weren't willing to take a chance on me as I hadn't played sufficient games.

"But I have never shouted my mouth off, I just said I wanted to play week in, week out and in the last 18 months, I have really enjoyed doing that - and long may it continue.

"I was told a few offers were made for me and you get whispers of things.

"If you had asked me 18 months ago, I might have been full of regrets, but the last 18 months have shown it was a good decision."