ROB Elliot admits he was “disappointed” not to start the season in goal for Newcastle United.
Tim Krul started the campaign between the posts after recovering from the dislocated shoulder he suffered in April.
Elliot impressed during Krul’s absences through injury last season.
And the 27-year-old – who harbours ambitions of playing for the Republic of Ireland – is now focused on building on his achievements last term and “pushing” Krul for the goalkeeping jersey over the coming eight months.
“Tim’s a top keeper – he’s the No1 – but I’m not here just to sit on the bench,” said Elliot.
“I’m here to push him. That’s what I did all pre-season, and I was disappointed, to be honest with you, not to start the season.
“I had a chat with the gaffer (Alan Pardew), and he said ‘Tim is the No1, so you have to accept that’. I just said I want to keep training, keep working hard and prove that I can hopefully get into the team.
“Obviously, Tim has been fantastic, as he usually is. All I can do is back it up when I get a chance to play and keep doing well in training.
“We are good mates anyway, so there’s nothing nasty there. Tim knows I work hard and I want to get in the team, and he knows he has got to keep me out.
“As long as we are both putting in performances like we have been doing recently, that’s all we can do.”
Elliot – who pulled off two superb saves in Newcastle’s 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Morecambe late last month – represented Ireland at youth level.
However, the Greenwich-born player – whose father’s family is from Cork – has never got a senior call-up.
“I’d love to get a call-up one day,” said Elliot, signed from Charlton Athletic two years ago.
“I played a lot at youth level. I’ve been slightly disappointed not to get a call-up, but they’ve got three top keepers – and one of them is my best friend in football – (Birmingham City’s) Darren Randolph – so I can’t really complain.
“It’s more of a privilege to get an international call-up. You can’t demand it, so I just have to keep playing well and hopefully I get noticed.
“We have always been cricket England and football Ireland in my family, believe it or not, so it would be fantastic to get an opportunity. I’ll just have to see how it goes.”