Wednesday 17 January 2018

Elliot: There was a wave of emotion knowing I'd miss rest of the season

Republic of Ireland's Rob Elliot receives treatment after sustaining an injury before being substituted (Reuters)
Republic of Ireland's Rob Elliot receives treatment after sustaining an injury before being substituted (Reuters)

Jamie Holland

Rob Elliot has revealed he was reduced to tears when he realised he would miss out on the chance to play at Euro 2016 and in Newcastle's battle to retain their Premier League status.

The 29-year-old goalkeeper suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage during the Ireland's 2-2 friendly draw with Slovakia on Tuesday night.

"Sustaining the injury happened in a split second," Elliot said. "The ball was played across the goal and I moved across to get in line. I dived after the ball as I would do in any training session or any game, but I felt pain straight away. Watching it back, I grabbed my knee before I'd even landed.

"When I found out it was my cruciate ligament, that's when the tears came.

"There was a wave of emotion knowing I'd miss the rest of the season with Newcastle and the Euros with Ireland. But you have to let that come, get past it and then look to be positive."

Elliot was taken to Dublin's Mater Hospital for a scan while the game was ongoing, but later returned to the team hotel in Castleknock.

He jetted back to Tyneside, accompanied by Ireland team-mate and Sunderland skipper John O'Shea, wearing a knee brace and walking with the aid of crutches and was due to undergo a second scan once back in the care of his club.

The news is not only a major blow to the former Charlton 'keeper, but to the Magpies and Ireland too.

Newcastle have already lost number one Tim Krul to a knee ligament injury for the season and Elliot has been their stand-out performer during a difficult campaign which has eight games still to run with relegation from the Premier League a distinct possibility.

Tuesday's game was also an opportunity for him to press his claim for a starting berth in Martin O'Neill's team in France, but his injury strengthens the case for West Ham stopper Darren Randolph, who replaced him at the Aviva Stadium.

Randolph, who has known Elliot since they were trainees together at Charlton, was among the first to offer his best wishes to his compatriot.

He said: "I've known him since we were 15 and I know him quite well. I don't want to see that happen to anybody, at any stage, let alone Rob. He's been on fire.

"There's never a good time for that to happen, but it's the worst possible time for it to happen to him now."

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