Rob Elliot insists Newcastle transfer talk is not fair on players
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 22/08/17 6:56am
Newcastle's players do not deserve the current criticism around the lack of depth in their squad, says goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
Last season's Sky Bet Championship winners have suffered defeats in their two opening games after returning to the Premier League, including a 1-0 defeat to fellow newly-promoted side Huddersfield last weekend.
Rafael Benitez questioned whether Newcastle are equipped for the top flight after the loss, with the Magpies boss unhappy over a lack of signings this summer, but Elliot insists constant debate over personnel is not justified.
"With the stories flying around - (we) haven't got enough, (we) have got enough - I don't think it's very fair on the squad," admitted Elliot, who was injured for the majority of last term.
"They did such a terrific job last year and we've brought in some good players. We just wanted it to be about looking forward to the Premier League season, unfortunately it's not been that.
"As a group we now have to stay strong and take that on board. Playing for Newcastle isn't like playing for other clubs; the pressure and the expectation that comes with it, you've got to be able to handle that to play for Newcastle.
"I think the lads have done and they've done brilliantly, and the new signings look good. I think we just need to gel, get settled and push on for ourselves."
Benitez has also bemoaned Newcastle's failure to compete in the transfer market against the likes of Huddersfield and Brighton, who have each strengthened with at least 10 new players.
While the Terriers have taken maximum points from their first two games in the Premier League, Elliot believes Newcastle are being written off too early.
"It feels like the joy and the feeling of coming up seems to have gone away very quickly before we kicked a ball," said Elliot, whose side have lost three defenders to injury and have Jonjo Shelvey suspended.
"I think that's out of our hands and the manager's but the only thing we can do is make sure on the pitch we're doing the right things and working hard in training, which we are.
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"With the injuries and the results, we're not getting the rub of the green but that's the Premier League, you get punished for anything, that's the difference between that and the Championship."
There is a good omen for the Magpies ahead of Nottingham Forest's visit in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, though, in that they also started last term with back-to-back defeats.
"We didn't want to start off with two defeats but we did that last year and won the league," Elliot noted.
"I'm not saying we're going to win the league this year but I don't think it means that the world's coming to an end and we have to look with despair. I think there's a lot more positives than previous Premier League years."