By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Two years ago, almost to the day, Rob Elliot was an unused substitute as Charlton Athletic played out a 2-2 draw with Dagenham and Redbridge.
Fast forward 24 months and the goalkeeper found himself running out at Old Trafford, taking on a Manchester United strike force of Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck.
By Elliot's own admission it has been a "dream" rise from League One to Newcastle United, and one where he has had to remain patient since signing in August 2011.
Chances have been limited, but handed two appearances in the last week the stopper has excelled.
The most recent of those came on Wednesday night, away at Manchester United in the third round of the Capital One Cup, where he made superb saves to deny Anderson and Danny Welbeck.
"It's a completely different world," Elliot told nufc.co.uk in an exclusive interview.
"The players you are up against, the players you are playing with - it's a dream come true.
"As a footballer you always want to play at the top places, and to get a chance to play at Old Trafford, I'm really pleased.
"On a personal point of view I'm pleased that the gaffer has got the confidence in me, both in Europe and against a team like Manchester United.
"They have been two tough games, but I'm delighted to have played them both and it will be great for my career.
"I've done what I can do. I've made my saves, kicked well and just been solid.
"It's been tough with Tim doing so well and Harps doing well, so I haven't had the chance to prove myself, but I want to get as many games as I can and show what I can do.
"If the time ever comes that I'm needed in the Premier League, then great."
Elliot was helpless to prevent the Magpies from slipping to a 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday, meaning their early exit from the cup competition.
And while the 26-year-old was disappointed to be on the losing side, he focussed on the positives of an encouraging display.
"It's bitter-sweet really," Elliot explained.
"We were really pleased with the performance of everyone but disappointed with the way it turned out. But the gaffer said he was proud of the performance from everyone.
"We had them on the ropes in the second half and it just shows what a great squad we've got.
"People say we're not the biggest but when you look at the amount of games we've played in such a short space of time and the amount of players who have played, they are all top-class players.
"We were able to bring on guys like Fergie - a full international - so that shows the strength in depth."