Steve McClaren said at the beginning of the season that he thought Newcastle were in good hands with the goalkeepers at the club this season – Tim Krul, Karl Darlow, Rob Elliot and 18 year-old Freddie Woodman and that will now be put to the test with the tragic news that Tim Krul has sustained an ACL knee injury playing for the Netherlands on Saturday night and he will be out for the rest of the season.
Rob Elliot – will start against Norwich
Newcastle have taken swift action in recalling Freddie Woodman from his loan spell at Crawley Town after the young player made 11 appearances for the first team and with Karl Darlow injured at the moment Rob will be in goal on Sunday against Norwich and Freddie will be on the bench.
Rob Elliot will be returning today from his duty with the Republic of Ireland in the Euro 2016 qualifying competition and he becomes an important player for Newcastle again.
Goalkeeper coach Simon Smith will now have to prepare Rob and the other goalkeepers, although Newcastle seem well off with 17 year-old England youth goalkeeper Paul Woolston also at Newcastle.
Simon has been an England Youth coach for the last two years and has already worked with Freddie and Paul.
This is what Rob Elliot has said:
“Simon has been around the building in the last couple of years because he looks after the young England lads.”
“We are fortunate to have good young lads around the goalkeeping department.
“I get on really with Simon. He comes in and just wants to do goalkeeping coaching. He has a great relationship with everybody and it has increased the competition, with Simon and Karl Darlow coming in.”
“It was unfortunate Karl got injured in training.” “At the end of the day you have to be at your best and do all you can to get in the team.”
“It is nice to have that healthy competition.” “You need to have strength in numbers and in depth.” “We definitely have that this year.”
“Tim started the season well despite us not starting well as a group.” “He has played really well. All we can do is push each other every day.”
“Simon Smith helps us do that.” “We had a good chat after Chelsea.” “It is a good starting point for where we need to be.”
“You can go from highs to lows in a short space of time and vice versa.” “We went from receiving loads of criticism before Chelsea to being clapped off the pitch.”
“We take it in our stride, we just try to give everything and that is all people ask of you.”
This adversity will hopefully help to bring the club together and certainly Rob will get a good response from the fans on Sunday – and he´s been a good goalkeeper when he´s played for the first team at Newcastle and only recently said he wanted to stay at the club and fight for his place on Tyneside.
This is a big chance for Rob with Darlow currently on the sidelines and it´s a big test for the club given the position we are currently in at the bottom of the league table.