Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Elliott Fires Way into Boss Roy's Battleplan

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Elliott Fires Way into Boss Roy's Battleplan

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Stephen Elliott cannot remember the first conversation he had with Roy Keane but the young forward gave a persuasive argument for why he should be a key figure in his plans with a well-timed brace in the 3-1 win over Colchester United.

The former Manchester City prospect is not the most comfortable public speaker but he does not need to be when performances like this do all the talking for him.

Elliott first met Sunderland's boss when he was called into the Republic of Ireland squad for the first time two years ago ( but the striker barely got a word out of his international captain on that occasion.

But Keane, who gave Elliott his first start following an ankle injury in September, will have had plenty of words of praise for the young forward after his clever first goal got Sunderland moving at the weekend and his second gave the Black Cats some much-needed breathing space.

"It was fantastic for me to get the two goals," said Elliott, who joins Chris Brown and Ross Wallace as the club's top goalscorer with three this season. "It was the first time I'd been in the starting line-up for a while so it was a great return for me. I've got the two goals and it's up to the manager but hopefully that'll be enough for me to stay in the side.

"The first goal settled us down just before half-time. We'd had plenty of possession but we didn't really have much penetration. Perhaps that was frustrating for the crowd but when the first goal went in I think the confidence returned to the stadium. The way we played in the second half was proof of that.

"At times we looked a really good side against Colchester. There was a spell in the second half when we passed the ball around superbly and they couldn't live with us.

"In that period we probably played as well as we have done all season and should have got the third goal to kill the game off. In the end we made it hard for ourselves, but thankfully we did eventually get the third goal." Keane had spent the pre-match build up complaining about his side's lack of cutting edge in front of goal, while also suggesting that Elliott could be a solution to a problem which had seen the Wearsiders only manage to score more than one goal in a game once in their previous ten fixtures. …

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