By support

30-year-old holds crunch talks with Benitez as Newcastle step up preparations

By Alex Taylor

Rob Elliot is confident of his Newcastle future after face-to-face talks with manager Rafael Benitez.

Goalkeeper Elliot impressed for Newcastle last season after stepping in for established No1 Tim Krul before a knee ligament injury prematurely ended his campaign.

He made 22 first team appearances last campaign and is now stepping up his rehabilitation following the signing of Matz Sels.

Elliot revealed he is grateful for the support of Benitez in a clear indication he has a big role to play in the forthcoming campaign.

“I have to say, he’s been brilliant with me and he’s kept me involved loads,” Elliot told NewsTalk in Ireland.

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“He brought me over here [for the friendly with Bohemians] with the group which is great for my confidence because I feel like I’m part of his plans when I come back.”

Injury for the Republic of Ireland international also prevented him from playing at Euro 2016.

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.

The stopper revealed that 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.

In other Newcastle transfer news, Benitez will sanction a fourth bid for Blackburn defender Grant Hanley.