Rob Elliot explains the key difference between this season and last at Newcastle

Newcastle United's Rob Elliot

Newcastle United are on course for a return to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot has noticed a real difference between the side this season compared to the one that was relegated last term, the Chronicle reports. 

Elliot spent the very end of last season on the sidelines with a cruciate ligament injury; something which he has been recovering from during this campaign.

Newcastle United's Mohamed Diame celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates

There have been many changes to the side that finished 18th in the Premier League last season to the one that is currently top of the Championship

Manager Rafa Benitez brought in a whole host of new names - 12 in total joining in the summer - as well as sanctioning a few notable departures for big money in the form of Georginio Wijnaldum to Liverpool and Moussa Sissoko to Tottenham.

Elliot is quoted in the Chronicle, saying: "The players here now not only want to be here but they want to be here for a long time. They see this as a club where they want to be playing and as the pinnacle. They want to take the club where we all want to be.

“That’s the difference now. Everyone who is here wants to be here and to take Newcastle as far as they can – they don’t want to be somewhere else.

Newcastle's Rob Elliot celebrates at the end of the match

"That’s brilliant because there’s not too many places like this in football. They are here because they want to do the right things.”

It is another sign that everyone is pulling in the right direction on Tyneside. As the season heads into the Christmas period, the Magpies are handily placed at the top of the Championship - a point clear of Brighton & Hove Albion and nine points clear of Reading in third place. 

They are firmly on course for a return to the Premier League at the first time of asking but any sense of disunity in the dressing room appears to have disappeared. 

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