By Russell Edge

16th Dec, 2017 | 9:38pm

Newcastle star reveals delight despite defeat v Arsenal, sends message to fans

Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot has revealed his delight at being called back into the starting XI despite suffering defeat against Arsenal on Saturday.

The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, who has four caps for his country, had been manager Rafael Benitez’s first choice between the sticks at the start of the season, appearing in the club’s first 13 league games.

However some poor performances from the 31-year-old convinced the Spanish boss to hand Karl Darlow the chance in the first team line up, dropping Elliot to the bench for four consecutive games.

The former Nottingham Forest man failed to cover himself in glory during his spell in the starting XI, conceding nine goals, including making an error to hand Everton victory in midweek, and as such Elliot was restored to the first team for the visit to Arsenal.

He revealed his delight at being called back up by Benitez, and thanked the fans for their consistent support, insisting it would help the team through their dreadful run of form.

Leaving a message on his personal Twitter account, he said: “Great to be back playing today. Good attitude and fight shown today need to take that forward over a busy Christmas period. Fantastic away support as always. Means a lot during a tough period #NUFC”

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Elliot was unable to stop the Gunners from picking up victory, with Mesut Ozil’s excellent volley separating the two sides in a 1-0 defeat, a result which extends the Magpies’ winless run to nine games, in which they have mustered just a single point from a possible 27.

In other Newcastle United news, the Toon Army were left livid with one man’s display against the Gunners.

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