Newcastle will benefit from Europa loss, says Rob Elliot

TAKING HIS CHANCE ... goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
TAKING HIS CHANCE ... goalkeeper Rob Elliot.

ROB Elliot says Newcastle United will be stronger for their defeat in Bordeaux.

Elliot and his team-mates were beaten 2-0 at the Stade Chaban-Delmas on Thursday night.

Alan Pardew, mindful of Monday night’s visit to Fulham, fielded an inexperienced team for the club’s final Europa League group game.

And Bordeaux ran out comfortable winners to progress as Group D victors.

The competition resumes in February, and Pardew will name a full-strength team for United’s two-legged Round of 32 tie.

“I’m guessing in February the big boys will come in – everyone will want to play,” Elliot told the Gazette.

“The manager’s had to rotate the squad and juggle things with injuries.

“He’s done that very well, because we’ve qualified. We’ve done that with all the distractions.

“We’ve got a couple of months to concentrate on the Premier League, and when the next round comes around, everyone will be vying for those 11 places.

“No one’s going to want to miss out.

“I think the good thing is the experience will be absolutely fantastic for the young lads, and myself. This is my first time in the competition.

“Sometimes, you learn more from a defeat than a victory.”

Elliot was arguably United’s man of the match against Bordeaux, with the 26-year-old making a series of early saves, including a double stop from former Sunderland forward David Bellion and Cheick Diabate, who went on to score both the home side’s goals.

“It’s always good to make saves,” added Elliot. “As a keeper, you’re always relied upon, even in the best teams.

“You’ve just got to try to make the saves, and hope they contribute to the result.

“In the last few games I’ve been lucky and they have, but you’ve got to hold your hands up to Bordeaux. They were excellent.

“We’re disappointed with the result, obviously. But we’re pleased to have qualified.

“It was a difficult game, with an inexperienced team. Fair play to Bordeaux – they were excellent.

“It was a tough surface and a difficult night. But these away days against big clubs are great experience.”

The game was Elliot’s fourth start of the season, and the former Charlton Athletic player – who made just one appearance last term – hopes he has proved he can fill in for No1 Tim Krul.

“Last season was difficult for me,” he said. “I think I played my first game within a week of signing, and didn’t do great from my own standards.

“Now I’ve settled into the club and improved massively in training.

“In the games, I’ve had the opportunity to show everyone what I can do.

“Tim’s been absolutely fantastic this year, so all I can do is try to be just as effective, so I’m ready if and when I’m called upon.”