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Newcastle goalkeeper set for scan on knee injury

Rob Elliot won't be back until next season. Credit: PA

Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot flew back to the north-east on Wednesday morning bracing himself for a definite verdict on his knee injury, with reports emerging that he could be out for a minimum of six months.

The 28-year-old was carried from the field on a stretcher after twisting his knee as he attempted to make a save just 14 minutes into the Republic of Ireland's 2-2 friendly draw with Slovakia at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening, and manager Martin O'Neill later revealed the early indications were he had suffered "serious" ligament damage.

Elliot was taken to Dublin's Mater Hospital for a scan while the game was ongoing, but later returned to the team hotel in Castleknock.

Newcastle goalkeeper suffers 'really serious' injury

Rob Elliot will be out for a while. Credit: PA

Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot is facing heartache for club and country after suffering knee ligament damage on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

The 29-year-old was carried from the field on a stretcher after landing awkwardly just 14 minutes into his second start for Ireland in Tuesday night's 2-2 friendly draw with Slovakia at the Aviva Stadium.

Republic boss Martin O'Neill later confirmed the injury was serious, and it remains to be seen just how serious with the Magpies fighting desperately for Premier League survival and the Euro 2016 finals just weeks away.

It is really cruel at this time that he's gone and done it. He's been waiting some time now for that run of games at club level, and he got them and I have to say he was doing very, very well indeed.

He came here, he knew he was always going to have either Friday night or tonight playing in the game, it was always going to be that way. He was looking forward to the match, and it is really serious.

Naturally it is a big blow to him, a blow to us and a blow to his club.

– Martin O'Neill

Townsend says Norwich clash is Newcastle's biggest

Andros Townsend knows this will be big. Credit: PA

Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend believes the team are heading a crucial period in their battle for survival.

Norwich welcome Newcastle to Carrow Road at the weekend, with the north-east side knowing anything less a win will leave them in peril.

Newcastle are three points behind 17th-placed Norwich, with a game in hand, after a 1-1 draw in the derby with Sunderland last time out.

You could have said the derby was the biggest one of all time. Now, it's Norwich and that's the biggest game of our careers. Then it'll be the game after that.

We have eight cup finals to come and we need to treat them like that. We need to start picking up points sooner rather than later.

– Andros Townsend

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Newcastle United fan banned over pitch celebration

A Newcastle fan who ran on to the St James' Park pitch to celebrate with Aleksandar Mitrovic during Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby has been given an interim football banning order.

John West, 35, of Bradford Crescent, Gilesgate, has been charged with going into the playing area of a designated football match during the Magpies' 1-1 draw with Sunderland, Northumbria Police have said.

The fan entered the pitch after Aleksandar Mitrovic's goal. Credit: PA

A spokesman for Northumbria Police added: "Mr West was handed an interim football banning order until his first appearance at Newcastle Magistrates' Court on April 6."

The charge surrounds an incident in the immediate aftermath of Mitrovic's 83rd-minute equaliser.

Police made 20 arrests, four of them inside the stadium, in connection with the game which otherwise passed off largely without incident off the pitch.

Benitez wants more from Newcastle striker

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored late on. Credit: PA

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez believes striker Aleksandar Mitrovic could fire the club to safety.

The Serbian international struck a late equaliser on Sunday against Sunderland, with Benitez hoping it is sign of things to come for the striker and Newcastle.

I said before that he has the potential. We have to help him a little bit with better crosses, better deliveries and support and get closer to him, but he will score goals if we can do that.

We are creating chances, we are attacking and we can be there, so we have to improve this part of the game and create more chances and Mitrovic or Papiss Cisse or the other strikers will score more goals and we will be fine.

– Rafa Benitez

Newcastle boss Benitez warns of relegation fight to the bitter end

Rafael Benitez has warned his Newcastle players they face a fight until the final minute of the season to preserve their Premier League status.

The Spaniard saw his side strike late at St James' Park to avoid a seventh successive derby defeat by arch-rivals Sunderland and snatch a 1-1 draw which ultimately did little to improve their situation at the wrong end of the table.

When it was suggested to him that the table - which shows the Magpies are three points adrift of safety with eight games remaining - looked scary, Benitez said: "It was scary before.

"I am here because I have to give the team confidence and we have to improve things. Again I will say at Leicester, you could see a lot of good things; still not enough. Today in the second half, a lot of good things; not enough.

"We have eight games to play and we know they will be incredibly difficult. We know it will be difficult, for sure. I knew before.

"We are creating chances, we are attacking and we can be there, so we have to improve this part of the game and create more chances and Mitrovic or Papiss Cisse or the other strikers will score more goals and we will be fine.

"But I can maybe say that we will have to fight until the last game and the last minute, so we have to do it."

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