Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Elliott Gets a Place and Contract Talks

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Elliott Gets a Place and Contract Talks

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Niall Quinn is planning to start contract negotiations with Robbie Elliott after confirming that the defender will make a belated debut in Sunderland colours this weekend.

And the Black Cats boss last night praised the 32-year-old for his attitude and insisted that, having proved that his heart is in the Wearside club, the former Newcastle full-back has got an important part to play at the Stadium of Light.

Elliott has not kicked a ball since joining the club on the eve of the new Championship season, and, with his short-term deal set to expire in just two weeks, the underemployed stopper has spent recent days considering his future.

It is a future that could yet be in the North-East. Elliott will start against Southend tomorrow and, barring disasters, seems certain to be offered the chance to extend his time with the Championship club.

Asked if contractual talks were on the agenda, Quinn said: "Very much so. We will be speaking to Robbie very soon. We know what he can do as a player, we just had to see if he was up for it. The answer is yes, he is."

Given his vast experience of top-flight football, Elliott was dismayed that Quinn required him to undergo a trial before offering him a contract but he has impressed the Irishman.

"At the start he was a bit fed up because he thought I was wanting to see if he could kick the ball and head the ball," said Quinn. "But that wasn't the case. I wanted to see if he could lead and put all his experience to use.

"I didn't know Robbie well and sometimes you have to be careful with older players. You don't want them to come in and dawdle through the last couple of years of their careers.

"We wanted to see if Robbie had the commitment to lift the people around him and use his experience. I didn't know the strength he possesses as a man in terms of leading people. …

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