Rob Elliot

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Arguably Newcastle's best performer at Bordeaux on Thursday night, Rob Elliot was left with mixed emotions following the Magpies' 2-0 Europa League defeat.

The goalkeeper was outstanding on his first outing since the start of October , with three first half saves in particular keeping United in the contest at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

However, Bordeaux front man Cheick Diabate netted either side of half-time to condemn the visitors to their first defeat in the competition.

It was hard to stomach, particularly for Elliot, who has had to be patient for a chance in between the sticks since his arrival from Charlton almost 18 months ago.

But the 26-year-old is determined to take every opportunity that comes his way. 

"It's hard to be pleased when you lose," Elliot told nufc.co.uk.

"It's a tough one as a keeper because sometimes you can let in four goals and still play well, or keep a clean sheet and play poorly.

"But I was pleased I guess. I made some saves and it was just another chance for me to try and impress the manager and show what I can do.

"I was pleased to get the opportunity. It's tough at the moment because Tim is obviously doing fantastically well, so I am battling it out with Harps for the chance to play in games like this.

"Hopefully whenever I get my chance I put in a good performance so that the manager knows he can rely on me next time I''m needed."

Elliot was one of nine changes to Newcastle's starting line-up in their final Group D fixture, as manager Alan Pardew chose to rest some key players from his injury-hit squad.

And while the result against Bordeaux was not what anyone associated with the Magpies would have wanted, the main objective had already long since been achieved - progression to the knockout stage.

"We are disappointed. It was a tough pitch and we had a team of young lads but we could have done a little bit more," Elliot admitted.

"You've got to give respect to Bordeaux. They played very well and it's a learning lesson for the next bit of the Europa League.

"Having such a good run so far, undefeated, we wanted to finish on a high and win the group.

"But we qualified from the group and, putting tonight's result aside, that is a great achievement because it was a tricky group."