Elliott believes Newcastle can recover form

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The Independent Online

Robbie Elliott has admitted the Premiership table is "an embarrassment" to Newcastle, who suffered their fourth consecutive League defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday and now find themselves in 14th spot, above Portsmouth only on goal difference.

Robbie Elliott has admitted the Premiership table is "an embarrassment" to Newcastle, who suffered their fourth consecutive League defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday and now find themselves in 14th spot, above Portsmouth only on goal difference.

Though Graeme Souness' side have two games in hand on some of the clubs immediately ahead of them, they are 11 points behind seventh-placed Middlesbrough, whom they play in a rearranged Premiership match tomorrow, and seem destined to end up in the Intertoto Cup this summer.

However, Elliott accepts their position is not what the Tyneside faithful expected when the season began with such high hopes last August. "At the moment we are a bit embarrassed by where we are in the League," the 31-year-old full-back said. "We need to get a few more results just to push us up the table and make the situation look a bit better."

Just when Newcastle needed a bit of good fortune, their luck appears to have deserted them totally. If it is not the horrendous injury list, which ruled eight senior players out of Sunday's 2-1 defeat, it is the series of wonder goals they keep conceding. After Youssef Safri's stunning effort for Norwich in midweek, Wayne Rooney followed up with an unbelievable volley for Manchester United, turning on its head a match that appeared to be heading Newcastle's way.

"What can you say about something like that," Elliott said. "Basically, all you can do is stand back and admire it. He couldn't have placed it any better if he had thrown it in. It was a huge disappointment because we set out with a certain game plan and it seemed to work. They were playing a lot more long balls than you would expect, but Rooney's goal changed the game."

In the aftermath of the latest setback in a disastrous fortnight, Souness claimed Newcastle's season was far from over.

Elliott agrees. The defender is one of the players whose contract expires in the summer and with the likes of Lee Bowyer, Nicky Butt and Laurent Robert fighting for their futures, he thinks Newcastle still have plenty to play for. "It is massive few weeks for us now," he said. "There are a lot of contracts up in the summer, so there are careers on the line here. You would like to think everyone will be pushing all out to get the results we deserve and try to get us up that table a little bit."

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