ROB Elliot has picked the ball out of his net eight times in the last two games – without doing anything wrong!
But the Newcastle United goalkeeper’s still enjoyed his unexpected chance between the posts.
Elliot deputised for No1 Tim Krul, sidelined with a knee injury, in the 4-0 defeats to Manchester United and Southampton.
And United manager Alan Pardew has admitted the 27-year-old couldn’t have done much more, despite the scorelines.
Krul was expected to be fit for this afternoon’s game against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
Should long-serving Krul return to the starting XI, that won’t be a reflection on Elliot.
“It’s been tough for Rob, as we haven’t played well as a team,” Pardew said. “Rob’s done well, but if Tim’s fit, he’ll play. He is the No1.”
Elliot, however, was just glad to have made it back on to the pitch before the end of the season after a long wait for a Premier League game.
He had made just two appearances in the cup this term before getting the chance at the St Mary’s Stadium, where he made a series of stunning saves to save the club further embarrassment.
The 27-year-old, signed from Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2011, feels he still has a lot to prove to fans at St James’s Park, having sat on the bench for much of his career at the club.
Elliot made just one cup appearance in his first season at Newcastle.
But he saw more action last season, and when he made his top-flight debut against Southampton a year ago, he completed the notable achievement of having played in English football’s top five divisions.
However, the Greenwich-born player – who previously worked with Pardew and goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman at Charlton – isn’t content with a bit-part role at United.
“You want to play in front of these amazing fans and for them to go home remembering you,” said Elliot, who has been brought into the Republic of Ireland set-up by Martin O’Neill.
“I want to show to everyone I do want to be a Premier League No1.”
Meanwhile, Krul knows the odds have receded on him making Holland’s World Cup squad, having been left out of coach Louis van Gaal’s last squad.
And the 26-year-old is determined to everything he can between now and the end of the season to catch the eye of van Gaal.