SportSoccer

Rob Elliot hopes to become Ireland's first choice goalkeeper

Rob Elliot
Rob Elliot

Rob Elliot is convinced the role of the Republic of Ireland's first-choice goalkeeper at the Euro 2016 finals is still "up for grabs".

Shay Given, who has established himself as Martin O'Neill's number one after coming out of international retirement, is currently battling his way back from a knee injury, leaving Darren Randolph to step in for the concluding games of a successful qualifying campaign.

However, Newcastle's Elliot and Millwall counterpart David Forde remain in contention, and the former is hoping to press his own claims in the friendlies against Switzerland on Friday evening and Slovakia next Tuesday.

Asked about the situation, Elliot said: "I think it's completely up for grabs. We have got a massive squad - Shay is not even here. It's just great to have depth in numbers.

"Playing every week has at least given me the opportunity to be involved in the question. That's what I'm pleased about, playing every week to even be here and being given my opportunity to compete, possibility, for the number one jersey.

"There's a long way to go between now and May, June. For me, it's just week on week, you just do well every week, do well every day and the rest takes care of itself."

Elliot joined up with his international team-mates while embroiled in a desperate fight for Barclays Premier League survival with Newcastle, although he helped to secure them a potentially priceless point from a 1-1 draw with derby rivals Sunderland on Sunday.

The 29-year-old is currently the man in possession of the gloves at St James' Park - with Tim Krul battling his way back from a serious knee injury - and being able to play regular football, unlike some of his competitors, is a major string to his bow.

But he insists turning out every week alone will not be enough to get him the nod in France this summer.

Elliot said: "If that's an advantage for me, then that's great, but you still have to play well every week.

"You can't just play every week and expect it to happen, you still need to play well and do well for your club.

"As long as I get my opportunities at Newcastle and I can try to impress them, hopefully that will push forward my case to go into the Euros."