Rafa Benitez was obviously impressed by the work ethic of the 30-year-old
Ireland goalkeeper Rob Elliot has signed a contract extension with Newcastle United, according to The Times.
In an exclusive with the paper, The Times report that Newcastle have rewarded the goalkeeper with a new deal despite still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained during one of Ireland's European Championship warm-up games.
Elliot played 21 Premier League matches last season, but started just two under new Rafa Benitez.
"He phoned me when the club signed Matz and said 'I'm really happy with you, it’s good competition. But I like you as a goalkeeper so don’t worry'," he said last month during Newcastle's training camp at Carton House.
"I told him that competition was good, it only makes you better. It was nice of him to do that he didn’t have to, he could have waited until I saw the transfer. It’s good that he’s brought me over [to Ireland] and it’s good that he’s told me that he likes me as a 'keeper but that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily going to come back into the team.
"Matz and Darlow are two very good young goalkeepers and obviously Tim [Krul] has got great experience and he’ll be back at a similar time to me. It’s going to be a tough fight for all of us. I suppose whoever gets the best of the jersey at the start of the season, it’s up to the rest of us to fight for it."