ROB Elliot’s proved himself on the Premier League stage this season – but the goalkeeper isn’t looking for plaudits.
Instead, Elliot’s only concern is Newcastle United’s top-flight status.
The 27-year-old will make his 17th appearance of the season against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Sunday.
A win could be enough for 17th-placed Newcastle to secure another season of Premier League football – and there is a huge pressure on Elliot and his team-mates.
Elliot, signed from Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2011, played just one cup game against Nottingham Forest last term.
By his own admission, Elliot wasn’t at his best at the City Ground, with his debut having come soon after his move from The Valley.
And Elliot went into the campaign knowing he had it all to prove at St James’s Park.
However, during first-choice Tim Krul’s absences through injury he has excelled between the posts.
The Chatham-born player just wishes his runs in the team had come in happier circumstances, with the club having been battling relegation for much of the season.
“I just want to make sure Newcastle are playing in the Premier League next year,” Elliot told the Gazette.
“That’s all I can do. It’s nice to play games, but I won’t turn around with pride if we get relegated.
“Hopefully, we can stay in the Premier League, and that’ll be us on our way.”
Elliot kept a clean sheet against West Ham United last weekend.
He made key saves from Kevin Nolan and Matt Jarvis in the goalless draw at Upton Park.
In the opposite goal was 38-year-old Premier League veteran Jussi Jaaskelainen, who has played more than 500 games in England.
While Elliot – who has experience of fighting relegation from his spells at Charlton and Notts County – has come a long way over the past few months, he still feels he has a lot to prove.
Asked if he now considered himself a top-flight goalkeeper, he said: “I wouldn’t go as far as that.
“I was playing against Jussi, and I wouldn’t know how many games he’s played. It’ll be in the hundreds.
“On a personal note, it’s great. But I’m not even thinking about that. I just want Newcastle to stay up.”
Krul is sidelined until late July after having surgery on the shoulder he dislocated in last month’s Tyne-Wear derby.