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Elliot to take Newcastle chance with both hands
ROB ELLIOT had been assured that his chance to play in goal for Newcastle United would come – now he is desperate to make the most of his chance.
The 26-year-old, after six senior appearances in cup competitions, made his Premier League bow in Sunday’s 4-2 home win over Southampton.
His display provided evidence that he is worthy of playing second fiddle to Tim Krul at least, despite the presence of the more experienced Steve Harper in the Newcastle ranks.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew had stressed on a number of occasions that Elliot just had to be patient and eventually the call would come.
After his manager stuck to his word, Elliot is satisfied with the way he has slotted in to replace the injured Krul and is keen to stay between the posts in the weeks ahead.
“I got a little bit injured in pre-season and then Steve Harper played and did really well in a few Premier League games when Tim was injured so I had to wait,” said the former Charlton shot-stopper.
“After that the gaffer said he wanted to rotate us on the bench every other game. He wanted to keep the squad together.
Harps is a great person to have around the dressing room and the building.
“But the manager said if he got the opportunity he would put me in. Knowing I’d have the opportunity to play was the main thing for me waiting around. Once I got the opportunity I just had to make sure I did well, basically.”
The problem Elliot faces is that he knows Krul is due to return to from an ankle injury in a little more than a month and when he does the Dutchman is likely to reclaim his starting spot in the side.
Elliot said: “Tim’s one of the best keepers around at the moment, not just in England, he’s started playing for Holland too. It’s great coming to work with him because that’s what I want to do, I want to be playing international football and Premier League football.
“To train with someone who’s experiencing that and going through it at the same age, we talk and stuff. I’m genuinely gutted for him with his injury but finger’s crossed it’s not too bad.”
After this Saturday’s trip to Swansea, Newcastle will then focus back towards the Europa League and a last-16 twolegged tie with Anzhi Makhchakala in Moscow.
And Elliot said: “We’ve always said once the Europa League’s done, it’s done and we can concentrate on the Premier League.
We did that very well on Sunday. We forgot the Europa League, concentrated on the Premier League and got three points.
“That’s something we may have struggled to do before but with the depth of the squad and the players we’ve brought in, it’s helped us. I’m gutted for Tim, he’s been fantastic this year. That’s the way it goes with goalkeeping.”
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