Date: 13th June 2006 at 10:51am
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Steve Harper looks set to be on his way out of St James’ Park.

The 31-year-old has spend most of the last nine years as understudy to Shay Given, and it seems he has had enough. Now with just 12 months of his existing deal to run and having seen Given sign a new five-year contract, Harper is facing an agonising decision over his future. The Easington-born keeper has managed only 65 first-team appearances in his 13 years at St James’ Park.

Harper: ‘Really, it’s just a case of waiting to see what happens. I am 31 now and it is not getting any easier sitting on the bench week-in, week-out.

‘What I do know is that I don’t want another season like last season, which was one of my worst ever as I only managed to play one first-team game – and that was in Slovakia in the middle of July.

‘The fact that we were fantastic under Glenn Roeder at the end of the season and have qualified for Europe means that I might get more opportunity.’