Date: 20th September 2006 at 12:43pm
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Steve Harper gets his first Premeriship start in almost 18 months at Anfield on Wednesday night.

The 31-year-old Newcastle goalkeeper has managed only 61 starts for the club in nine years. And he calls Shay Given ‘Lazarus’ because of his astonishing ability to recovery from injury.

Harper: ‘I got a text message from him yesterday morning just saying, ‘Thanks mate, I am a lot better, I have got more tubes sticking out of me than I do not know what. I am having a fitness test on Wednesday morning’, so he is obviously in good spirits.

‘I spoke to him yesterday afternoon and he was a bit drowsy, but he was comfortable and that is the important thing.

‘It was a long time ago, a long time ago, but I did keep Shay out of the team for a while there and got injured myself. I have got an opportunity now to go in and make it hard as possible for the manager when Shay is fit and give him a decision to make.

‘I wish him a full and speedy recovery, but I have just got to go in and give it my best shot and make it as tough as possible for the manager. I am sure the manager would like that hard decision to make.’