ROB Elliot says the only way is up for Newcastle United as the club comes to terms with its dismal FA Cup exit.
The goalkeeper was between the posts for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Injury-hit Newcastle’s abject performance at the Amex Stadium left fans demoralised ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit to Carrow Road.
And Elliot insists United’s players are also “hurting” after the third-round tie.
“Everybody’s down – we’re gutted,” Elliot told SportMail.
“Everybody wants a cup run. We knew it would be tough. I think we needed to have that extra bit of experience.
“I didn’t realise how important it was until I was older.
“The effort and commitment was still there. Hopefully, this is it for us now.
“We’re down to the bare bones, and we have players coming back and a new signing (Mathieu Debuchy). Everything is positive going forward.
“I know it was a disappointing day, and it will hurt for the rest of the week.
“But going to Norwich, we’ll almost have a new team.”
Remarkably, Alan Pardew’s players were still applauded off the field at Brighton by the club’s 2,000-strong travelling support.
And that gesture wasn’t lost on Elliot and his colleagues, conscious that the performance hadn’t warranted such a reaction.
“We don’t take them for granted,” added Elliot.
“The players really appreciate the fans.
“It’s always mentioned in the dressing room before the games.
“It’s hard, but we want the support to keep coming. When we have a full squad again, we can compete with anyone.
“Hopefully, St James’s can be rocking again soon.
“The fans were brilliant. I’ve never known a crowd when you have lost 2-0 away from home to turn round and give you appreciation like that.
“Credit to them – they’re showing some great patience.
“They understand the situation. They demand the effort, and it’s there. We’ll have quality coming through from the likes of Debuchy, (Papiss Demba) Cisse and Colo (Fabricio Coloccini).”
Elliot threw his gloves into the away end after the game.
“It was just a gesture to them,” said the 26-year-old.
“I’ve always done it since I was at Charlton.
“For any fans travelling all of that way, it’s the least you can do, especially for a game that kicks off at 12.30pm with fans coming down from Newcastle.
“They could see the energy and the effort of the young players, and didn’t turn on them.
“The patience they have shown has been magnificent.
“We have to give credit to Brighton – I thought they were excellent.
“With the injuries we’ve got, we were down to young players. The inexperience told really.”