Newcastle Keeper Explains How His Mental Toughness Benefitted From 13-Month Injury Lay-Off

Saturday September 9th, 2017

Newcastle United's Rob Elliot has explained how battling back from a cruciate knee ligament injury has made him a more mentally tough player.

The Magpies goalkeeper spent over a year on the treatment table from March 2016 to April this year after suffering the terrible injury whilst on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

Now back between the sticks as the current Newcastle number one, Elliot told the Daily Mail how his experience of working his way back to full fitness prepared him to be much more in tune with a positive mindset and to block out the negative thoughts.

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He said: "Recovering from injury itself is sort of a mental battle - it's the first battle you have to face when coming back from a long injury, just having the strength to do the little things.

"When you get back fit and are just training every day, you realise what a blessing it is when you can't do it, so when you're in the gym, you just try to work a bit harder and hopefully, you reap the rewards when you come back because you are that bit mentally tougher.

"You try to take the positives out of it, make the best out of a bad situation and that's all you can do."

Elliot has started each of Newcastle's three Premier League games of this season, and is expected to retain his starting berth for the trip to Swansea City on Sunday.

After securing their first win of the campaign with a 3-0 home victory over West Ham before September's international break, the 31-year-old now believes that Newcastle can get their season off properly - starting with another possible three points against the Swans.

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He added: "After the Huddersfield game, you hold your hands up. It wasn't good. But I thought we gave a proper performance against West Ham.

"It was a good response because we were getting a lot of stick, and I think it's been unfair. It's a good team, a great group that's got us promoted.

"If we can keep performing like that, we'll be fine. Hopefully we can replicate it and push on this season. That bit of pressure before getting the first win is gone and we can kick on."

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