NEWCASTLE United’s Rob Elliot is determined to prove he is a safe pair of hands.
Elliot will be in goal for Saturday’s home game against Manchester United in the absence of No1 Tim Krul.
The 27-year-old made his first Premier League appearance of the season against Southampton last weekend after Krul was ruled out with a knee injury.
Elliot made a series of a stunning saves at the St Mary’s Stadium, but Newcastle still were beaten 4-0 on a dismal afternoon on the south coast.
The challenge for Alan Pardew’s side is to restore some pride against the reigning league champions.
“As a keeper, you want to make saves, but the main thing is you want to help the team and get a win,” Elliot said. “Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
“We’ve got to look to come back from a setback and show a reaction.
“The lads are good lads, and all gave 100 per cent, but we got outplayed.
“We’ve got to make sure we really concentrate going into Man United and get ourselves back on track.
“There’s no reason why we can’t push up in the last six games.”
Elliot - who had previously made just two cup appearances this season - has had to be patient over the past few months, and the former Charlton Athletic player is looking to make the most of his unexpected opportunity.
The Greenwich-born player wants to show he is capable of one day being the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.
“I want to show to everyone I do want to be a Premier League No1,” he said.
“I’m not happy just to sit and be a No2. I really want to push Tim. Tim’s a fantastic keeper, so I know I need to raise my game every time I get the chance.”
United have beaten Chelsea and drawn with Premier League leaders Liverpool at St James’s Park so far this season, while Manchester City were also pushed hard on their two visits to Tyneside.
And Elliot feels the team are capable of doing the double over Man United, beaten 1-0 at Old Trafford in December by a goal from departed midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
“When you play against the best, you have to raise your game,” said Elliot. “I think we’ve done that over the years.
“We have produced performances and got points off the top teams.
“No matter what, you leave everything out on the pitch and win back the fans.
“Manchester United are still a top-class team. There’s no doubt about that. We know it’s a tough game. We’ve got to respond that.”