By Kevin Phillips

14th Mar, 2020 | 5:47pm

Exclusive: Kevin Phillips reacts to 'Massive' Newcastle update

Kevin Phillips has claimed it is a “massive blow” to Newcastle United to lose Martin Dubravka for an extended period. 

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sunderland striker bemoaned the Magpies’ poor luck with injuries this season, and praised the 31-year-old for his impressive form between the sticks.

Steve Bruce confirmed during a press conference on Friday that the Slovakian has been ruled out of action for at least a month with a knee injury, having failed to miss a single Premier League match since signing in January 2018.

And Phillips has claimed the he will be a big miss for the Toon Army.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “Believe me, I’ve been in a coaching environment, when your main number one goalkeeper is missing, it does take a hell of a lot away from your side.

“All of a sudden, you’re back four or back five, whatever it is, can they trust whoever is in behind them having played with someone else for most of the season.

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“Dubravka has been excellent for Newcastle this year.

“Unfortunately for Steve Bruce, if the league is to reconvene in April, the amount of injuries he’s had to deal with this season – but he’s just got on with it.

“Naturally, to lose your number one goalkeeper and the way he’s been playing, it’s going to be a massive blow for them, yeah, of course.”

Dubravka has played all 29 of Newcastle’s top flight matches so far this season, conceding 41 goals and keeping nine clean sheets in the process.

The 24-cap international arrived on Tyneside in a £3.6 million move from Czech side Slavia Prague just over two years ago.

In other Newcastle United news, ‘I guarantee it’ – Exclusive: Bent makes Dwight Gayle claim ahead of Magpies v Sheff Utd.