Rob Elliot says he’s determined to stay and fight for his place at Newcastle United.
The goalkeeper hasn’t played a Premier League game since last December.
Elliot lost his place after suffering an injury – and didn’t play again last season.
Martin Dubravka, signed in January, will start the new season as Rafa Benitez’s No 1 ahead of Elliot, Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman.
Elliot, however, isn’t about to give up on his United career.
“I thought some of the stuff last year about being desperate for a new goalkeeper was a bit harsh,” said the 32-year-old.
“I didn’t think my performances warranted that. I wouldn’t say I was chucking goals in or anything like that, but sometimes you have to deal with that and make sure you come back stronger.
“Looking back over my career here, I’ve always had to do that. I’ve always had to prove myself and come again and come again.
“I’ve always said before I’ve got no interest in leaving. I love living up here. I love being part of the club. I think if the decision ever comes that I will have to leave, it probably won’t be from my side. It’ll probably be because my hand’s being forced.
“The manager’s been great. He’s been open and calm. All I can do is keep working hard and see where it takes me. There’s no point in trying to second-guess things.”
Elliot started last season as Benitez’s first-choice goalkeeper.
“I had a little tweak last year, and then Martin came in and played,” said the Republic of Ireland international. “I think I only wasn’t available for a couple of games, but Martin came in and did brilliantly and the team did well. You just have to accept that.
“When the team’s doing well, you can’t really argue. The only thing you can do is work hard and be strong.
“That’s why I want to make sure this year that I train as hard as I can and push as hard as I can, so when I get an opportunity arises, I can hopefully stake a claim.”