Rob Elliot has talked in the Chronicle again today and he has mentioned that Rafa Benitez has already told him he wants him for the long haul at Newcastle.
Rob is still fighting his way back from the ACL injury he picked up in late March playing for Ireland against Slovakia.
Karl Darlow is currently the man between the sticks at Newcastle and Karl is having a very good season to follow on from last season when he played in those final eight games and looked good then too.
Rob Elliot – in training this season
Rob seems to love it at Newcastle and he is pushing at the moment to at least get on the bench, with Belgium goalkeeper Matz Sels the backup goalkeeper to Karl at the moment.
But Rob says he has every intention of staying at Newcastle and fighting for his place:
“I am conscious I don’t want to go too long without playing but you have to cross that bridge when you come to it.”
“I definitely want to stay. I just signed my long-term deal and the manager has told me he wants me to be here for the future.”
“I know sometimes in football you have to accept someone in front of you is doing well and hold your hands up.”
“The good thing for me is that if I keep working hard, keep doing well, the manager will give me the chance if an opportunity arises.”
“You know you’ll be in there on merit. Karl is in there on merit – he worked hard, got his chance and now he’s doing well.”
“Hopefully I can do the same.”
There will be good competition for the goalkeeper position once Rob is fully fit again and it’s the same in most positions this season.
Rafa Benitez is very keen on there being players competing for every single position in the team.
It’s worked very well this season and nobody is assured of their starting position at Newcastle, which is very unlike the last few years at the club.
It’s certainly a change for the better.
Note: Reader Elliot Little will be braving the sub-zero temperatures on the Great Wall of China this Christmas to raise money for mental health charity MIND.
Elliot will camp out with his friend on Christmas Eve overnight on a challenging section of the wall before trekking around the relatively under-explored area of Jiankou on Christmas Day.
Here’s more information on the trek and his justgiving page.