Newcastle boss Steve McClaren bemoans loss of Tim Krul for season

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has described the loss of Tim Krul to injury for the rest of the season as a "bitter blow."

Krul, 27, ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee after falling awkwardly on the artificial surface during Netherlands' Euro 2016 qualifier in Kazakhstan on Saturday.

McClaren is already without second-choice keeper Karl Darlow due to a foot injury, meaning third-choice Rob Elliot will step up.

"It's a bitter blow for Tim and for us," McClaren told the club's official website. "I spoke to him on the morning of the game, he wasn't playing and -- selfishly -- I thought that was good, because then he would be fit for us. Then I got the news, the severity of the injury and how he did it, and it's a massive blow.

"Tim is a big part of us -- he's a big player, a leader in the dressing room, and his goal was to establish himself in the Dutch side going forward. We will miss him for the rest of the season, and he loses seven or eight months of his career.

"It's going to be a very difficult time for him but Tim is strong, single-minded and he will come back from this injury.

"I've seen plenty of players go through this and come back just as strong, so we have no worries or concerns about what Tim will go through. The treatment and rehab he will get from us will be first class."

Elliot, who has made 15 Premier League appearances for the Magpies, will be elevated to first choice, while the club have recalled 18-year-old Freddie Woodman from a loan spell at League Two Crawley.

"I've been impressed by Rob from day one when I came into the club," McClaren added. "He's very vocal in the dressing room, is a senior player with good experience and is not afraid to say things.

"That is vital, and this situation gives Rob an opportunity to show what he can do."