Steve McClaren has hailed Rob Elliot's "heroic" performance against Bournemouth.
Elliot was outstanding for Newcastle United in this afternoon's 1-0 win at the Vitality Stadium.
The game was decided by a first-half goal from Ayoze Perez.
But the victory owed everything to the performance of Elliot – who had been struggling with a thigh injury in the build-up to the game – between the posts.
The 29-year-old could now link with up with the Republic of Ireland for their two-legged Euro 2016 play-off against Bosnia, though McClaren, without Tim Krul and Karl Darlow, wants to "wrap him up in cotton wool".
McClaren said: “We'll wrap him up in cotton wool for the next two weeks.
"Karl Darlow is not too far away from it. Rob's been heroic the last two games to get us through what was, two weeks ago, a big crisis.
"We need more of that. I said at half time character will win us this game, and it did. Tremendous.”
Elliot had made a superb save from Jon Walters in a goalless draw against Stoke City a week earlier.
And McClaren went on: "I think people talk about goalkeepers getting you points, and a top goalkeeper can get you 15-20 points for performances like that.
"Missing Tim Krul, we talked about that. He's got to step in and do it.
"Last week he made a great save and got us a point in one respect. Today he's got us all three points, without a shadow of a doubt. And that's what you want from your goalie.”
Asked how close Elliot was to not playing, he said: "Well I've got to say he was so positive from Monday, because we were wondering what to do.
"But he was so positive to play that we gave him every chance, every opportunity, and Friday he trained. Today I thought he was excellent."