Injury concern for Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot

Rob Elliot
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Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot is still feeling his knee injury, according to Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill.

Elliot returned to the Magpies’ first team at the end of the season, playing the final three games as Newcastle clinched promotion from the Championship.

The 31-year-old hadn’t played since suffering a cruciate knee ligamanet injury while on international duty with Ireland back in March 2016.

After his recall to the starting XI, Elliot was then included in the Republic’s squad for their upcoming friendly against Mexico this Friday and World Cup qualifier against Austria on June 11.

But O’Neill says the goalkeeper hasn’t travelled out to the United States, for the Mexico game, as medical staff continue to assess his knee.

Keeper Darren Randolph, who lost his place at West Ham to Adrian for the final five games of the Premier League season, will instead compete with Sheffield Wednesday’s Keiren Westwood for a starting role against Mexico.

O’Neill said: “He (Randolph) was disappointed to lose his place in the team and wanted to come to America to get some game-time. He has done very well.

“It’s good that Keiren is pushing him. Robbie Elliot played the last couple of games for Newcastle, but is still feeling the injury.

“We’ll assess that during the next couple of days, so we’ll just have the two goalkeepers coming with us.”

Meanwhile, former Sunderland winger James McClean could be set for a new role when Ireland face Mexico in a friendly at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

O’Neill has left several of his senior players back at home to allow them to recover from a long and arduous season, although the bulk of those who play for Championship clubs have been finished since May 7.

But West Brom winger McClean asked to be involved, and he could be handed a different role with no specialist left-back in the travelling party.

O’Neill said: “Most of the boys who are playing in the Premier League will join up with us after the game in the US, but James wanted to come out. He has got a great attitude.

“There is no recognised left-back, but it gives us the opportunity to experiment. We could possibly play three centre-halves and two wing-backs. James has done that before.