Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot is now getting match fit as he attempts to get his place back in the Newcastle goal from the impressive Karl Darlow, who has played really well for us so far this season.
Rob has been coming back from that serious ACL injury he picked up playing for Ireland against Slovakia in late March in the Euro 2016 qualifier – and he’s had time to watch how Rafa Benitez has literally transformed the Newcastle squad and elements of the club too – all in a very short nine months.
Rafa Benitez – with players in training
Rob says he was not only surprised that Rafa agreed to stay after we were relegated, but that he agreed to join us in the first place back in March.
Rob says you can see the difference he has made already.
The goalkeeper had this to say in the Chronicle:
“No-one expected to him to stay. Actually, no-one expected him to take the job in the first place.”
“It’s been a surprise really. Not only did he come in and do the best to try and keep us up, he’s stayed and you can see the improvement.”
“He’s putting everything into it and we’re responding to that.”
“He comes in and works hard every day. It’s very tactical. He makes sure we’ve got every blade of grass covered.”
“You can see the results on a Saturday. We hit a bad patch and he doesn’t let it affect us.”
“We just get back on with it.”
News today that Newcastle are in for 29 year-old Robert Snodgrass of Hull who has turned down a contract offer at the club, as he looks to leave next month and Newcastle are the favorites to sign him for £5M.
He would be an excellent signing for us and certainly will add to the competition on the wings.
His contract runs out next June.
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.