Elliot expects Krul battle
Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot knows he faces a major challenge to oust Holland international Tim Krul next season.
- Related Content
The 25-year-old arrived on Tyneside from Charlton in August last year to share the responsibility of playing understudy to the Dutchman with veteran Steve Harper, and ended the campaign very much as Alan Pardew's number two despite having made just one senior appearance.
It is a role he is likely to reprise when the new campaign gets under way, with Harper now 37 and Fraser Forster seemingly destined for a permanent switch to Celtic.
However, he is only too aware that Krul's recent form means he will have to remain patient once again.
Elliot told the Evening Chronicle: "Tim was fantastic last season - probably one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, if not the best.
"If Tim does really well, you can just hold your hands up and say fair play to him.
"You can't expect to play when the keeper is doing so well, only if the opportunity comes where he's injured or form dips.
"If he keeps playing well and doesn't get injured, there's not much you can do. You have just got to be patient and keep working hard in training.
"There's only one position and Tim did fantastically well. You have just got to hold your hands up and say well done."
Pardew's decision to promote 24-year-old Krul, who was part of the Holland squad at Euro 2012, to number one ahead of Harper, who had himself spent the best part of a decade in the shadow of Shay Given, was a bold one but it paid off handsomely.
He started all but one of the club's 43 games last season, missing only the 4-3 extra-time Carling Cup third round win at Nottingham Forest, and enhanced his reputation to such an extent that he has been linked with a move away from Tyneside this season.
The Magpies moved to protect their investment in the former ADO Den Haag keeper in March when they handed him a new five-year contract in the hope of fending off potential purchasers, or at least ensuring they would have to make a substantial offer to prise him away.
Pardew has spent much of the summer insisting his club is looking to recruit, rather than sell players, although progress has been slow to date.
They remain braced for approaches for the likes of striker Demba Ba and midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote, but are actively involved in the search for new recruits.
FC Twente's valuation of 21-year-old striker Luuk de Jong simply does not match Newcastle's and that is likely to prove fatal to the deal unless one or other of the pair radically alter their current stance.
And while the Magpies are still interested in De Jong's team-mate Douglas, they are in no immediate rush to complete a transfer with other targets still under consideration.
Lille's France international full-back Mathieu Debuchy is also firmly in the Tyneside outfit's sights, although any agreement is yet to be reached on that front.
Current right-back Danny Simpson still has a year left on his existing contract, but has not agreed a new deal with several Barclays Premier League clubs understood to be monitoring his situation.