Newcastle wait until the 11th hour to decide on goalkeeper for Bournemouth

Rob Elliot
Rob Elliot

Newcastle United are refusing to rule Rob Elliot out of Saturday's game against Bournemouth.

The goalkeeper aggravated a thigh problem in last weekend's goalless draw against Stoke City.

United head coach Steve McClaren – who is already without Tim Krul and Karl Darlow – admitted that he "feared the worst" after the game.

And McClaren put 18-year-old Freddie Woodman on standby for the club's visit to the Goldsands Stadium.

However, Elliot – who missed the second half of last season with a thigh problem – could yet be patched up to play against Bournemouth, and the 29-year-old will be given a fitness test tomorrow.

“With Rob Elliot, he had a slight thigh strain," said assistant coach Paul Simpson.

"We had it assessed, and it was assessed as a grade one, so not something serious. But he’d had the same injury previously which we’ve nursed him through.

"We tried him on Friday in training, and he said he was fine ... then came in on Saturday and said it had stiffened up overnight and he was struggling with it.

"We felt as though he wasn’t going to be able to play (against Stoke), but thankfully for the way the game turned out, Rob said ‘I’ll be OK’.

“There has been a bit of deterioration since the game, and obviously with the game, so we continue to assess that.

"He hasn’t trained this week, but we will keep an eye on him. There’s a possibility we are going to try him on Wednesday to see how he is."

Newcastle – who hope to have Darlow back from an ankle problem later this month – are looking into the possibility of signing a goalkeeper on an emergency loan.

The club could ask the Premier League for permission to bring in cover on a short-term deal.

However, United would only be able to seek for permission for such a move if Elliot was unavailable.

Simpson said: “There is no point me speculating as to what we might and might not do if there is a problem.

"Let’s wait and see what happens with Robbie. If he is OK, then we will go ahead with him for the Bournemouth game at the weekend. If he’s not, we have to have a think about what our options might be.

“Whether it’s the goalkeepers inside the club – the two young goalkeepers (Woodman and Brendan Pearson) – or whether we need to look elsewhere.

"At this moment we are keeping our options open, because we are still hopeful Rob will be fit for this weekend.”