Injury-hit Newcastle not permitted to bring in new goalkeeper

Robert Elliot of Newcastle United reacts during the Barclays Premier League match against Manchester United

Rafa Benitez has confirmed Newcastle are not permitted to add another goalkeeper to their squad, following the serious injury suffered by Rob Elliot in midweek.

The 29-year-old Irishman will be sidelined for the remainder of the season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury during Tuesday's international friendly against Slovakia.

Elliot was carried off after just 16 minutes at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and may struggle to be fit for the start of next season.

The relegation-threatened club appear to be running out of first-team keepers, having already lost the services of first-choice No 1 Tim Krul who was also injured on international duty. The Dutchman has not played since representing the Netherlands in Kazakhstan in October.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 29:  Rob Elliot of the Republic of Ireland suffers a suspected serious injury during the international friendly match between the R
Image: Republic of Ireland's Rob Elliot will miss this summer's Euro 2016 finals due to a serious knee injury

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And with Magpies' manager Benitez learning on Friday that he cannot sign a new keeper on loan, this leaves Newcastle with just one other player who has Premier League experience this season.

Karl Darlow has played just once for the Newcastle first team, which came in their 1-0 defeat at West Brom during the festive period.

Benitez said of Elliot at Friday's news conference: "It was bad news for us and for him. But we can do nothing at the moment. We cannot sign another keeper.

"It is not good news but you have to concentrate on what you can do. All we can do is support Darlow.

"He is training well and has a lot of confidence. He has not played much in the Premier League but has played a lot of games in the Championship. He has enough experience and should do well."

Tim Krul was injured representing the Netherlands
Image: Tim Krul was injured representing the Netherlands

Freddie Woodman is also on the books at St James' Park but the 19-year-old has never played for the first XI and spent the early months of this season at Crawley.

Newcastle lie second from bottom in the Premier League table with eight games remaining. On Saturday they travel to Carrow Road for a massive clash with relegation rivals Norwich.

"Norwich are organised," said Benitez. "They have a lot of players who know their jobs and their work rate is really good. We have to work hard from the first minute to last.

"The reaction of our team against Sunderland was really positive. We have the right mentality to go to Norwich and win - we know we can do it. We have to give everything and I will not give up."

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