Rob Elliot is hoping to keep Newcastle in the Premier League and win the race for the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 keeper’s shirt.
The 29-year-old met up with the Ireland squad on Sunday evening hours after playing his part in a dramatic Tyne-Wear derby draw with fellow strugglers Sunderland, but with his club still in desperate relegation trouble.
Elliot will be able to take his mind off the pressure of trying to avoid the drop for a few days as he concentrates on the task of winning a fourth senior cap in their friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia over the Easter weekend in a bid to get the nod for this summer’s finals in France.
Asked if helping to keep Newcastle up could help him edge past the likes of Darren Randolph, Shay Given and David Forde to claim the number one spot for his country, he said: “I hope it’s an added bonus.
“It’s nice to be away with the lads and trying to do well this week, but just for Newcastle to stay up is obviously my short-term priority because it’s a fantastic club. We should be in the Premier League and we shouldn’t be in the position we’re in.
“Anything I can do to help us stay up and maintain our Premier League status, hopefully that will help towards the summer. But in the meantime, we just need to concentrate on our Premier League survival game-by-game.
“We have got eight games left and they are all massive, massive games now. That will go hand in hand, really.”