Having spent most of the promotion season on the bench, Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot has been an unlikely hero this season.
But he was on the losing side on Monday and said that the squad was missing the necessary quality during their narrow defeat to Burnley.
Jeff Hendrick’s goal was all that separated the two sides at Turf Moor as the Magpies slipped to ninth in the table, seeing Sean Dyche’s side leapfrog them in the process.
It means that Rafael Benitez has seen his players pick up just one win in all of their matches not at St James’ Park this season, after having possessed one of the away records in the whole of England in the last campaign.
After the match, Elliot, who has been a stalwart between the sticks for Benitez this season, said there could be no questioning the players’ commitment but did admit that they were lacking the talent necessary to secure a point or more.
He told NUFC TV, available on the club’s official website: “The players are hurting after running themselves into the ground. It just didn’t come off.
“We were lacking a bit of quality, but the desire and hunger were there. Everyone gave everything, but it wasn’t our night. We need to make sure we don’t dwell on it too long.
“We’ve got a good opportunity in four or five days time (against Bournemouth), especially with the fans getting behind us.”
Elliot is one of the club’s longest serving players, having joined from Charlton in 2011, but although he is firmly the number one choice under Benitez, he has had to fight for his position, while injury has also seen him miss out.
He has made a total of 62 appearances across all competitions for the Magpies, while he also has four international caps for the Republic of Ireland to his name.