30 year-old Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot has been interviewed in the Chronicle and he’s admitted things in the dressing room at Newcastle are now an awful lot better than they were last season when Steve McClaren was the manager and we had characters like Moussa Sissoko in the dressing room.
That’s the player who would never consider playing in England’s second division because he’s just too good a player for that, but now he’s struggling to get a starting place at Spurs and not playing well at all.
Rob Elliot – Newcastle goalkeeper
Rafa has concentrated on getting real characters into Newcastle who want to be at the club even though we dropped down into the Championship.
Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle are two players who were even willing to take the drop from Premier League clubs to join Newcastle in the summer.
Rob has been recovering from his ACL injury and he has been able to observe just how different things are when you have a world-class manager like Rafa Benitez in charge – and the manager knows exactly what he’s doing.
This is what Rob Elliot has said in the Chronicle:
“I’ve almost been a fan that has been allowed access since the Spring and it’s been great.”
“It’s been interesting to watch. And the one thing that you can say now is that every decision that has been made has been made for the best of the team and the club.”
“I think the manager coming in and the squad we’ve got, we know we’ve got strength-in-numbers.” “All the lads, if they’re dropped – well, rotated – we’ve got quality in there.”
“What’s been brilliant is that lads maybe aren’t getting picked, they’re dropping out but they’re still supporting and getting on.” “We’ve created a great atmosphere and you can see it on the pitch.”
“We had a tough week before the Birmingham win but it just goes to show the character that they can bounce back from those kind of setbacks.”
“It’s the character of the team and a sign of where the club is going.”
“It’s 100% better now, the atmosphere in the dressing room now. It’s no point pretending it was a bed of roses.”
“We got relegated, for a start. Obviously it wasn’t good enough but now we’ve got the right characters, the right personalities now and it’s been addressed.
“The players here now not only want to be here but they want to be here for a long time. They see this as a club where they want to be playing and as the pinnacle.”
“They want to take the club where we all want to be.”
“That’s the difference now. Everyone who is here wants to be here and to take Newcastle as far as they can – they don’t want to be somewhere else.”
“That’s brilliant because there’s not too many places like this in football. They are here because they want to do the right things.”
Rob is on his way back now and had a good run-out for the U23 team last week and will get more games for them as he challenges Karl Darlow for the number one position in goal.