Erik Pieters winds up best friend Tim Krul after fluke Stoke goal

CELEBRATION ... Stoke City's Erik Pieters.
CELEBRATION ... Stoke City's Erik Pieters.

ERIK Pieters won’t let best friend Tim Krul forget his fluke goal at the Britannia Stadium.

The Stoke City defender’s misdirected cross condemned Newcastle United to a 1-0 defeat on Saturday.

Pieter’s left-wing delivery, helped on by the wing, carried over a despairing Krul and into the top right-hand corner.

The former Newcastle target hadn’t scored in six years, and unfortunately for United, it came against his closest friend in the game, goalkeeper Krul.

“I told him I meant it,” said Pieters, who came to St James’s Park to watch a game while at PSV Eindhoven.

“Everybody knows he’s my best friend in football. I’ve known him since I was 17. It was really good to score my first goal, and a great goal as well, against him.

“We talk to each other a lot, about our personal lives as well.

“We support each other always and we have a good relationship. I’ll keep texting him, for sure.”

Meanwhile, Stoke midfielder Stephen Ireland – who had a loan spell at Newcastle in 2011 – admitted his former club had given Mark Hughes’s side a difficult afternoon.

“It was a tough game,” said Ireland. “We were sloppy, they were sloppy – it was just one of those games.

“Luckily we got the three points. If anyone was going to win the points, it was us.”