Newcastle 30-year-old gives up holiday to ensure he is peak condition for next season

By Tom Blackburn

Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot has revealed he won’t be taking a holiday this summer in order to continue his rehabilitation.

The goalkeeper has prioritised regaining his first-team place next season over recharging his batteries.

With Tim Krul injured, third choice goalkeeper Elliot impressed for Newcastle under Rafa Benitez, before a knee ligament injury prematurely ended his campaign.

Injury for the Republic of Ireland international has also prevented him from playing at Euro 2016 Elliot revealed the extent of his drive to get fit.

“I’m in almost every day, getting fit again,” Elliot told the official NUFC website. “The training ground is a lonely place. Tim Krul is also around but he’s a bit ahead of me in his rehab so he may have a bit more time off.

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“It is tough but I’m working with great physios and hopefully it will make me stronger and get me back quicker.

“As much as you want a summer break, I would rather be fit and then I can enjoy my summer holidays next year instead.

“I would rather be back at St. James’ Park playing than anywhere in the world on holiday.”

Elliot joined the Toon club in 2011 for an undisclosed fee from Charlton and since then has mainly been back-up to Krul, with last season his biggest opportunity to prove himself.

He made 22 first team appearances last campaign, and says recently coming off his crutches has been a massive boost to his rehabilitation.

“I’ve been working hard and I’m off my crutches now, so that’s great and makes me feel a little bit more independent,” he told the Newcastle website.

“It’s amazing what you take for granted, especially as a footballer, because you’re so active and I found it really hard.

“But now I’m off the crutches and have seen the surgeon, who gave me the all-clear, I can really start progressing, which is massive for me.

“I can start doing things like the bike and treadmill, which are simple things at a low level but enough to make you realise that you are going to return to fitness.

“I will be getting ready to hopefully be back in training in September or October.”

In other Newcastle news, Rafa Benitez has lined up a bid for a 23-year-old.