Rob Elliot

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

Goalkeeper Rob Elliot was delighted to silence Newcastle's detractors at West Ham on Saturday, keeping his maiden Premier League clean sheet in the process.

Having conceded nine goals in his last three appearances since replacing the injured Tim Krul midway through last month's Tyne-Wear derby, Elliot was as hurt as anyone by the recent criticism levelled at the Magpies.

But after producing a stubborn rearguard display to snuff out the threat of Andy Carrol and Co at Upton Park in a goalless draw, the former Charlton stopper believes United have displayed their true colours.

"You've got to look at it as a point gained, definitely," Elliot told nufc.co.uk.

"To go to West Ham, with the way they have been playing this season - particularly at home - and get a point and a clean sheet is great for us.

"I think we were the better footballing team overall, and we stood up to the challenge of playing a big, strong team who put the ball in the box. We dealt with their threat exceptionally well.

"Keeping a clean sheet was massive.

"When you concede as many goals as we have recently people chuck insults around like they are nothing, but if you are the one they are aimed at then it does hurt.

"So to get a point was great and for me, personally, my first Premier League clean sheet on the back of that Liverpool performance - conceding six - was a huge confidence boost.

"It is easy to throw the towel in but we have shown character, we turned around and said 'no - we are going to roll our sleeves up and get on with it'.

"After that performance I know we are going to show 100 per cent commitment between now and the end of the season, and with the quality we have in the squad that can only be a good thing."

Elliot more than played his part in the East London shut-out, with three outstanding second-half saves in the space of 30 seconds - twice denying Kevin Nolan from point-blank range before clawing away a Matt Jarvis effort which was heading for the top corner.

But the keeper was not interested in individual plaudits, instead focussing on achieving the aim of retaining Newcastle's top flight status for another year.

"I didn't think I started very well, misjudging a through ball, but I settled into the game," he admitted.

"I then made a couple of saves from big Kevin and one from Jarvis, but that's my job.

"It's just about doing my bit for the team and making sure we are all working towards getting us safe."

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