Newcastle reserve Elliot: I want to become No.1 goalkeeper

The 26-year-old has spent a large part of his career playing in the lower leagues but put in a man-of-the-match display against Anzhi to improve his chances of a starting XI role
Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot has revealed he has to "pinch himself" to believe he is playing in the Premier League and Europa League after his lowly beginnings with Erith Town, and now wants to win the No.1 jersey from Tim Krul.

The 26-year-old joined the Magpies in 2011 after spending seven years at Charlton Athletic, which included loan spells at Bishop's Stortford, Notts County and Accrington Stanley.

But after putting in a man-of-the-match display against Anzhi Makhachkala and their star striker Samuel Eto'o in the 0-0 draw in Moscow on Thursday while Krul was out injured, Elliot is looking forward to finally establishing himself in the starting XI.

"Of course I want to be No.1 some day," he told reporters. "Any player at any club should aspire to be the best in his position. I've always enjoyed having a challenge; it's helped me to become a better keeper."

After shutting out Cameroon star Eto'o in Russia last week, Elliot believes he is able to enjoy it that much more due to his experiences of the lower reaches of the footballing world in the past - and will give his all to stay at this level.

"I have to pinch myself to believe. I'm now playing in the Premier League and Europa League. I've played in the lowest league in the non-league pyramid with Erith Town, when I was 17, and just worked my way up in stages.

"The ambition to play in the Premier League has always been there. But having been where I have, I probably relish it more. Sometimes you look around and appreciate the things you get, like travelling on a plane to Russia and playing against Samuel Eto'o, who has probably won everything there is to win apart from the World Cup.

"Now I just want to enjoy it. I don't want any regrets. I want to come away and say I did everything I could."