Newcastle's Rob Elliot ready for tough season – for club and country

Rob Elliot

Rob Elliot

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Rob Elliot is preparing for a big campaign – for club and country.

The goalkeeper played the last three matches of Newcastle United's Championship-winning campaign.

And Elliot is already looking forward to next season, when the club will be back in the Premier League.

READ MORE: Tim Krul: Newcastle’s a ‘massive part of my life’ – and I’m looking forward to returning

The Republic of Ireland are also looking to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Elliot will have to compete with Tim Krul, Karl Darlow, Matz Sels and Freddie Woodman in pre-season, when manager Rafa Benitez will have to make some tough decisions.

Tim Krul

Tim Krul

Krul will be back at St James's Park after proving his fitness during a half-season loan at Dutch club AZ Alkmaar.

Asked about the importance of playing ahead of the World Cup, Elliot said: "You have to get one to get the other in my opinion.

"I have to be doing well for Newcastle to get a chance with Ireland.

"If I can be playing Premier League football for Newcastle, hopefully that will lead to good things with Ireland."

Karl Darlow

Karl Darlow

Elliot, like Krul, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during the 2015-15 season.

And the 31-year-old was recalled to the starting XI by manager Rafa Benitez for Newcastle's promotion-securing game against Preston North End late last month.

“When you look back, the Preston game was unbelievable," said Elliot. "But then you start thinking after the Preston game.

"It brought back all the memories of like the Manchester United games and the derbies and the Liverpool matches.

"Every game is a massive game in the Premier League. Every game in the Premier League you know that you can get embarrassed very easily by the quality of players.

"But, as a player, you want to test yourself against the best and play against the best in the world every week.

"That’s where you want to be – playing in front of a big crowd at St James’s against the best players.

"When we are doing well, there is no better place to be.

"You want to be in that environment every week and that’s what the Premier League means – that every week you are in that sort of atmosphere."

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