Rob Elliot adds to Ireland’s goalkeeper crisis

There was more goalkeeping worry for Martin O’Neill after Newcastle manager Steve McClaren confirmed Rob Elliot suffered a recurrence of a thigh injury.

Rob Elliot adds to Ireland’s goalkeeper crisis

McClaren admitted Elliot probably shouldn’t have played against the Potters and was visibly hobbling following his clean sheet.

“We didn’t think he would play and he didn’t feel right this morning but he insisted on having a fitness test. We allowed that, he came through it and said, ‘Play me’,” said McClaren.

The latest injury bulletin followed word on Saturday that Shay Given will require a knee operation, while Darren Randolph once again spent Saturday kicking his heels on the West Ham bench.

At least Kieren Westwood returned after injury to the Sheffield Wednesday side for the 1-0 defeat of NottinghamForest.

Newcastle’s woes are even greater than Ireland’s and McClaren could consider a foray into the emergency loan market with Tim Krul and Karl Darlow also on the casualty list, leaving 18-year-old Freddie Woodman his only fit keeper.

Stoke keeper Jack Butland was the standout figure on Saturday, producing fine second half saves to deny Moussa Sissoko twice, Ayoze Perez and at the death, substitute Jamaal Lascelles. Aleksandar Mitrovic had headed against a post in the first period.

Elliot also did well to deny international colleague Jon Walters ‘s powerful header.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes was satisfied with a point after admitting the midweek Capital One Cup victory over Chelsea and the Rugby World Cup had conspired against his team.

He said: “Maybe our exertions in midweek just took the edge off our play. The pitch was a little bit softer than we have been used – I don’t know whether they kept the grass a little bit longer because of the rugby games here. It was a slow pitch and I think that affected our play as well.

“But on the day, it’s a good away point for us. We are decent away from home, picking up lots of points, so we are pleased with that. We need to address our home form, which to a certain extent, we did against Chelsea in the cup, so we hope that’s going to continue.

“We have got them again next week, so it’s a big game for us, but a good challenge once again.”

NEWCASTLE:

Elliot, Janmaat (Lascelles 83), Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett, Sissoko, Anita, Tiote (De Jong 71), Wijnaldum, Mitrovic, Perez .

Subs not used:

Cisse, Gouffran, Haidara, Thauvin, Woodman.

STOKE:

Butland, Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters, Adam, Whelan, Shaqiri (Crouch 90), Krkic (Afellay 60), Arnautovic (van Ginkel 89), Walters.

Subs not used:

Ireland, Wilson, Diouf, Haugaard.

Referee:

Roger East (Wiltshire).

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