By Coral Barry
Rob Elliot couldmiss the rest of the season after picking up a knee injury during Republic of Ireland’s 2-2 draw with Slovakia on Tuesday night.
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill confirmed after the game that the Newcastle stopper’s injury was “serious” and it means the Magpies go into their crucial clash with Norwich in the Premier League without their first or second choice goalkeeper.
Elliot, 29, has been filling in for number one stopper Tim Krul after the goalkeeper was ruled out for the season in October when he suffered a knee injury while on international duty with the Netherlands.
O’Neill was pessimistic about Elliot’s chances of returning before the European Championships in the summer but added it was too early to strike the goalkeeper off completely.
The former Nottingham Forest player’s only appearance in the league this campaign was against West Brom and Darlow was subsequently blamed for conceding a late winner.
The Magpies must beat Norwich if they are to truly kickstart a relegation escape under new manager Rafael Benitez.