Rob Elliot

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Rob Elliot believes former side Charlton Athletic are getting "back where they belong", after the Addicks secured promotion to the Championship on Saturday.

Born just down the road from the Valley, United's goalkeeper spent around eight years at the South-East London club, working his way up into the first team and making more than 100 appearances for his boyhood side.

Four of those games came at the start of this season, before his switch to Newcastle at the end of August, and Charlton have gone from strength to strength over the course of the campaign, taking League One by storm.

A 1-0 win at Carlisle on Saturday sealed their route back into the second tier of English football, and Elliot was delighted for his old club and ex-teammates.

"It's great to see," the stopper told nufc.co.uk. "They've only lost five games, which is brilliant over the course of a season.

"I played four games at the start of the season, which we won three and drew one. I kept a couple of clean sheets in there too, so it was nice to do my bit even if it wasn't for long.

"They completely changed the team - myself included - and have completely turned it round. The manager started again and the crucial thing is that they made really good signings, not just for this season but the future as a lot of the lads there are young and up-and-coming.

"They should have a strong base for a team for the next few years.

"I think they will hold their own in the Championship. The good thing is they have got a lot of good, young players who haven't played at that standard so are unproven. And I always think that's a good thing because people want to prove they can do it.

"I was with the lads for about three months before I left and it's pretty similar to here - no prima donnas, just good, honest, hard-working lads with a lot of talent. A few will definitely play at this level in the future."

Ten years ago Charlton were an established Premier League side, but their fall from grace has been quite rapid, with resulting financial problems not helping them in their attempts to return.

But Elliot is convinced that is all behind the Addicks now, and the good times are set to return.

"The last few years at Charlton have been horrible," he explained.

"It's not been great for the fans or the players - I think one pre-season we turned up for the first training session with seven players. That's not exaggerating either - we played most of the pre-season with trialists to get us up to the proper squad size.

"I'm not sure if everyone really appreciated the struggle they were in.

"But the new owner came in, took over and breathed new life into the club. And Chris Powell has done a brilliant job as manager.

"It's brilliant to see them back where they belong because it's such a massive club. The support has always been fantastic."

 

Charlton promotion