Elliot Anderson hoping to impress Eddie Howe – Looking to build on excellent loan move
Elliot Anderson has big ambitions.
Still only 19, he is out with the Newcastle United first team squad in Austria for pre-season, looking to catch the eye of the NUFC Head Coach.
Elliot Anderson hoping to build on excellent loan move last season, when after joining mid-table Bristol Rovers in January, the Geordie midfielder was the key figure in turning them into eventual automatic promotion candidates.
Bristol Rovers moved up to League One and Elliot Anderson is also hoping to be moving up, to be an active part of Eddie Howe’s first team squad.
However, the teenager says that he is more than happy to go out on another loan move, if Eddie Howe believes it is for the best when it comes to progressing his ability, via regular first team football at a lower level.
Elliot Anderson talking to the official club site:
“The gaffer (Joey Barton) came up with the nickname (Billy Elliot) for me and then all the fans called me Billy. It took a while to adjust to.
“People would call me Billy and I didn’t even know if they were speaking to me. I’d hear it when I was playing… I just hadn’t really heard it before, so it was decent.
“I loved it (at Bristol Rovers). I went there at the end of January and it was a new club to me, but they welcomed me so well and a lot of the lads were in the same boat, with a lot of them from up north, so I fitted in well and cracked on straight away.
“When I joined, there was a really good feeling around the place. They were pushing on. I don’t think they had a decent start to the season, but as I joined they were pushing a bit and getting wins. From the very first week, we were pushing for play-offs, really, and then eventually pushing for automatic promotion. It was canny mad, really. We just went on a winning streak.
“There were about six or seven teams who could either get in the play-offs or get into the automatic promotion places. It was so tight.
“We all had the same sort of aim, but with the type of group we were and the manager we had, we just pushed and drove everyone to the best standards we could.
“I think it was probably the best thing I could have done (to go to Bristol Rovers), to be honest. I thought I performed pretty well and I got goals, which was the main thing for me. I had good performances to start with and didn’t get any, but it was one of my aims to get the goals and they finally started to come in. I got one and then I was like, ‘right, now’s the time’. They just started coming. Naturally I was in the right positions – I played higher up on the left wing after a few games, and I started getting into better positions from there.
“He (Joey Barton) was good. He had high standards for everyone. He pushed you.
“He was a player so he had your best interests in mind, and he really helped me and gave me that sort of stepping stone for my career.
“Quite a lot of people said we’d do it (get automatic promotion on final day of season, despite ending up needing to win by at least seven goals).
“I remember someone saying they had a funny feeling we’d win by seven – I remember him saying it. I was thinking, ‘I wish’.
“It was crazy. We had a left winger at left back, and right winger at right back, and then wingers in the winger spots so we just went all-out attack. It was quite a lot to do, really, but we believed in each other.
“At half time, in my head, I thought, ‘it’s a bit tough to do, that’ – we had to score five more. But everyone kept trying, kept going. Chasing that final goal, we knew we just needed one more.
“I just thought, ‘I have to hit the target – this is the last five minutes, I can’t miss this’.
“I was just praying that it would come. I’ve jumped up at the back stick and got it in, and the stadium just erupted. I can’t really remember what happened to be honest but I remember being on the floor, in the celebration, with fans all over.
“I’ve just got to try and impress as much as I can really (not back with the NUFC first team in Austria in pre-season) and do my best.
“I’ve got to try and compete for a place around the team and see how I can do.
“I think not trying too hard to do that (is important) – just do your stuff, and see if you catch an eye, and work as hard as you can. It’s kind of like a free hit – I’ll give it my best shot, and if they think I need another season out (on loan), I’m happy to do that. Whatever’s best for me.
“I’d say for me, probably playing games is the most important thing, to be honest – carrying on my run that I have, and just trying to keep striving. Hopefully that’s here, or if it’s somewhere else on loan, I’ll be giving it my all.
“It was a great day (winning promotion with Bristol Rovers), for my family as well, and one I’ll remember all my life,” he nods.
“Now I’ve got to push on for the next moment like that.”
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