By Paul Brown
James Collins hailed evergreen Brad Friedel after his dynamic Newcastle display, insisting: "I will probably retire before him and I'm only 27."
Collins was full of praise for the USA ace after his inspirational performance in the Toon victory.
The goalkeeping great made two world-class saves from Newcastle forward Peter Lovenkrands in the 1-0 win.
He got down low to his left to keep out a bullet header and then saved with his legs with the clock ticking down.
Collins was not surprised with his ace antics because he sees first-hand how hard Friedel works during the week.
He said: "We knew how vital the points were and Brad made a great save right at the death to keep us in it and give us the win.
"Since I've been at the club, he has been unbelievable - week-in and week-out.
"He is such a good professional in the way he handles himself off the pitch and he is in the gym every day still at 40.
"He is a credit to himself and his professionalism is second to none.
"I think I will retire before him the way he is going and I'm only 27! The way he looks after himself off the pitch and the way he goes about his business is great and he is just a world-class keeper, simple as that.
"When he is called upon, if he has made 100 saves or no saves in a game, you can always rely on him.
"He has been doing the same thing for years and years in the Premier League."
Friedel earnt the player plaudits after the match for his breathtaking last-minute save but Collins was the man in the right place at the right time at the other end.
He said it was the most important he has scored in claret and blue so far.
He added: "I scored a late one at Blackpool a couple of month's back that was big but to score the winner in such an important game was good.
"We knew - everyone around the club - that it was a big game. We want to be winning our remaining home games.
"We set out before the Everton game on an eight-game season and we've got four from the first two which is massive. We are now just concentrating on picking up as many points as we can."
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