By Russell Edge
Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot has blasted critics who said the Magpies should easily win the Championship, calling them “disrespectful”.
Newcastle go into the final day of the season with silverware still on the line in the shape of the Championship trophy.
They know that if they better the result of league leaders Brighton, who travel to Aston Villa, in their home match against Barnsley, then they will finish the season as champions.
However, many critics have suggested Newcastle should have had an easier time in the Championship, with the expenditure and the quality of players at hand.
However, Elliot has hit back at these remarks, suggesting that the critics are downplaying the competitiveness of the league and the opposition.
The 31-year-old goalkeeper told NUFC TV, available on the club’s official website: “There’s been a lot of negativity around saying we should have done it easier.
“That’s disrespectful to the Championship.
“It’s disrespectful to Newcastle in the fact that we’ve overcome a lot in the last year.”
The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper has been kept out through injury for much of the season, after being ruled out during international duty.
However, he has returned to the side to usurp regular starter Karl Darlow for the fixtures against Preston North End, where the Magpies earned promotion, and Cardiff City.
He is now hoping that the Tyneside club can make one final push for the league title, and insists that the success will be gratifying after all the pressure and expectation placed upon the players’ shoulders.
“It’s been a testament to how well the lads have done that we’re going in to the final game of the season with a chance of winning the title,” Elliot told NUFC TV
“There’s been so much pressure on us.
“We just want to go out, get a win and see what happens there.”
In other Newcastle news, Rafa Benitez has been told the budget he will receive as he targets a massive overhaul in the summer.