Rob Elliot

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Rob Elliot paid tribute to the "amazing" travelling Toon Army after they roared United to a 1-0 pre-season friendly victory at Blackpool on Sunday.

Almost 2,500 supporters made the trip from Tyneside to Bloomfield Road for the warm-up fixture, which was settled by Shola Ameobi's early strike - his third in as many games.

Goalkeeper Elliot knows only too well how impressive the Magpies' away backing can be, but the size and noise of that which followed United to the North-West seaside town this weekend left him shocked.

"I knew there were going to be quite a few fans coming but I didn't expect it to be like that," he told after the final whistle.

"It was amazing. That corner where they were all singing at Yohan (Cabaye), I don't know another club in the country that could do that.

"I've never seen anything like that in a pre-season friendly and it just goes to show what faith the fans have in the team.

"Although last season was disappointing, they are still turning out to support us and hopefully that's because they can see we are doing everything to make sure that doesn't happen again.

"With their backing hopefully we can make a good start to the season and then kick on from there."

With just one defeat from four pre-season friendlies so far, the early signs are encouraging for the 2013/14 campaign.

And while these friendlies are mainly an exercise for gain match fitness, Elliot insists there is nothing wrong with getting into a winning habit already.

"For us to kick on with a win and a clean sheet from a tough game is excellent," he explained.

"Blackpool's season starts next week, so that was them pretty much ready to go in the Championship.

"Towards the end they put a bit of pressure on us but I thought in the first 45 minutes especially, we showed a difference in class.

"We made a great start and I thought the way we kept the ball and dominated the game bodes well for the season ahead."