McClaren hails Elliot heroics

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren lavished praise on goalkeeper Rob Elliot following his "heroic" display in the 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Elliot, who is battling with thigh injury, played through the pain at the Vitality Stadium to help the Magpies claim only their second victory of the season after pulling off a handful of crucial saves to deny the Cherries.

The Tynesiders had the Republic of Ireland international to thank for keeping them in front as Ayoze Perez scored on 27 minutes with their only shot on target throughout the contest, and McClaren does not want the keeper to take any risks during the international break.

The Irish face Bosnia and Herzegovina in a crunch two-legged Euro 2016 play-off tie in the coming fortnight, but McClaren is hoping Elliot will be rested as he looks to make a full recovery from his injury.

"You'll see him walking around with cotton wool wrapped around him for the next two weeks. So that's what we'll have to do," the former England manager said.

"Rob's been heroic to get us through the last two games in what two weeks ago was a big crisis. I said at half-time character will win us this game, and character did. Tremendous.

"People talk about goalkeepers getting you points, and if you're a top goalkeeper you get 15 to 20 points from performances like that.

"We were debating what to do but he was so positive from Monday that we gave him every chance. Sometimes you think 'wow, how did we win that'.

"We got it through character, endeavour, organisation, perseverance. Once after an hour we were never going to score the second goal and were never going to keep the ball long enough we just more or less shored up and defended for our lives."

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