ROB Elliot says Newcastle United are in safe hands with Jak Alnwick between the posts.
The 21-year-old will be in goal for tomorrow’s Premier League game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium (5.30pm kick-off).
Alnwick came off the bench against Chelsea last weekend when Elliot suffered a thigh injury.
And manager Alan Pardew, already without first-choice goalkeeper Tim Krul, does not expect Elliot to be fit until the New Year.
Alnwick – whose only previous experience of competitive senior football had come during a loan spell at Gateshead three years ago – will deputise in their absence.
Elliot, having worked alongside Alnwick for the past three years, feels the Hexham-born player is up to the challenge.
“I can’t explain how hard Jak’s worked,” Elliot said.
“He’s had a lot of setbacks as well. He’s taken all of them really well, and worked even harder.
“It proved he’s mentally a strong character. He’s a fantastic lad, and all the keepers are really proud of him.
“We’re glad to see what he did in the second half – he showed what he can do.
“There’s a lot to come from him once he gets more confidence.
“Hopefully, he can show what he’s all about.”
Pardew said: “Robbie will be out for six to eight games, so it’s a great opportunity fo Jak and he’s very keen to take it.
“He’s had a great start and has fitted in very well.
“He has worked very hard in the background, but never had an opportunity
“I have great faith in him, but he will need a lot of luck as well, particularly in that crucial position. He deserves a bit of luck, because he is a cracking lad, and I’m very proud of him.”