Date: 21st December 2016 at 7:26am
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By Matt Farr

Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot has admitted the atmosphere in the dressing room last season was toxic.

The unity between the players last term with the club’s relegation from the Premier League, while the atmosphere was not aided by a number of the club’s main stars pressing for transfers away from the club.

However, Newcastle have been in excellent form at the start of the new season, and lead the way at the top of the Championship with 49 points.

They have 16 wins from 22 games, and have lost just two of their last 10 league games. Goalkeeper Rob Elliott, who has missed much of the campaign with injury, believes the atmosphere around the club is much better this term.

He told the Newcastle Chronicle: “It’s 100% better (now), the atmosphere in the dressing room now. It’s no point pretending it was a bed of roses.

“We got relegated, for a start. Obviously it wasn’t good enough but now we’ve got the right characters, the right personalities (now) and it’s been addressed.

“The players here now not only want to be here but they want to be here for a long time. They see this as a club where they want to be playing and as the pinnacle. They want to take the club where we all want to be.

“That’s the difference now. Everyone who is here wants to be here and to take Newcastle as far as they can – they don’t want to be somewhere else.”

Elliot went on to add that his return from injury was like returning to a whole new club. He could be back in contention for the Newcastle first-team against Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day, after making his long-awaited return for the under-23s last week.

The Magpies remain the outright favourites to win this season’s Championship title, but they are being challenged right to the finish by Chris Hughton’s spirited Brighton side. Just one point separates the two sides in their race for top-billing.

In other Newcastle news, Football Insider reveals Newcastle’s biggest disappointment of 2016.