Karl Darlow on brink of Newcastle return to ease goalkeeping problems

Rob Elliot
Rob Elliot

Steve McClaren hopes to have Karl Darlow back after the international break.

Steve McClaren hopes to have Karl Darlow back after the international break.

McClaren feared he would be without Rob Elliot for this afternoon's game against Bournemouth after he aggravated a thigh problem in last weekend's goalless draw against Stoke City.

And the club was ready to ask the Premier League for permission to take a goalkeeper on an emergency loan.

But Elliot reported for training on Monday determined to prove himself fit in time to line up between the posts at the Goldsands Stadium.

And head coach McClaren – who lost No 1 Tim Krul to a season-ending injury last month – will field him in goal against Bournemouth.

Asked if he was a risk playing Elliot, McClaren said: "You are as certain as you can be every week.

"But he has come through most things in training. In the situation we're in, he's good enough to play."

Had Elliot been deemed unfit, the club would have been able to bring in a goalkeeper on a short-term deal.

"We didn't really (get close) to applying really," said McClaren. "We gave him (Elliot) an opportunity on Monday, and he came in nice and bright

"We said 'OK, we'll give you a chance to get fit'. And he's done that."

Darlow – who has been sidelined with an ankle problem – could be available for the November 21 home game against Leicester City.

Asked if he would be back after the international break, McClaren said: "Yeah – there or thereabouts."

Freddie Woodman, 18, will be on the bench against Bournemouth.