Elliot Anderson’s ‘standout’ quality on Newcastle United debut

Elliot Anderson’s aged only 19, but his first Newcastle United start has seemingly been a long time coming.
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And the midfielder – who made two substitute’s appearances the season before last – finally made his full debut in last night’s Carabao Cup tie against Tranmere Rovers.

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Newcastle came from behind and won 2-1 at Prenton Park thanks to goals from captain Jamaal Lascelles and Chris Wood.

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Eddie Howe admitted that his team hadn’t been at their best with the ball, despite dominating possession, but what did impress United’s head coach was the attitude of the team on a difficult night.

And Anderson – who knew what to expect from Tranmere, having scored at Prenton Park for loan club Bristol Rovers last season – played his part in the victory.

Anderson’s best known for his technical ability and vision, but it was his workrate out of possession that most impressed Howe.

“He’s very confident, he believes in himself, which you have to at this level,” said Howe. “You have to want the ball in all situations.

Newcastle United midfielder Elliot Anderson in action against Tranmere Rovers.Newcastle United midfielder Elliot Anderson in action against Tranmere Rovers.
Newcastle United midfielder Elliot Anderson in action against Tranmere Rovers.
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“I thought Elliot did well, technically, tonight in very tight spaces. I think the standout thing for me was his workrate out of possession. He was tireless for us, covered a lot of ground.”

Howe revealed earlier this month that it was unlikely that Anderson – who scored the goal which won Rovers promotion last season – would be loaned out this season.

“I’m looking at daily progression,” said Howe. “He’s come in as a new signing – and has elevated his performance. He’s come back very fit, tactically fitted in to our systems – and we really like him.

"He’s quiet, but has a steely determination to do well for the team – and we like him a lot. As we stand now, he will not be going anywhere.”

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Elliot spoke to the Gazette about his hopes for the season last month amid loan interest from a number of clubs.

“I want to be here,” said Anderson. “I want to force my way into the team, but that’s the club’s decision. I’ve just got to work as hard as I can on the pitch, and see what happens.”