Steve McClaren revealed in his press conference yesterday and after the match last Sunday – that at half time at White Hart Lane last Sunday the players were talking a lot about how they could get back into the game.
We assume Steve said that because previously that had not happened when Newcastle were losing at half time.
One of the most vocal players was goalkeeper Rob Elliot, who had made two fantastic saves from Erik Lamela to keep the score down to only 1-0, through a poorly conceded Eric Dier goal just before half time.
Rob Elliot saves from Erik Lamela last Sunday
Rob has gained in confidence in the games he has played for Newcastle since Tim Krul picked up his serious ACL injury and Rob always turns up for the games and he’s played really well for us.
And but for the play of Elliot we wouldn’t have picked up four wins and 13 points in the eight games Rob has played for the Magpies since Tim was injured and out for the rest of the season.
This is what Steve McClaren said about Rob yesterday:
“Yes, he is turning into a leader, absolutely.”
“We spoke about half-times and the importance of leadership, and he was terrific. While we were tactically doing things, he was showing leadership.”
“The rest followed on from that. Despite the goal we had just conceded, he was saying ‘look, everyone is expecting us to do this, let’s not do this but do that’. And they responded.”
One of the problems with Newcastle this season has been a lack of leadership both on and off the field, so it’s good to see Rob take charge – which he does on the field too – always talking to his defenders.
Certainly the future looks bright for Rob, who is gutting excellent press and if he can stay fit it’s almost certain he will not only be in Ireland’s squad for the Euro 2016 Championships next June, but will also start the games.
If Rob keeps improving this season, as he;s been doing, he will give Tim Krul some serious competition when the Dutchman returns to action – hopefully in pre-season.
And that’s what we want to see – more competition in all the positions in the Newcastle team.