Rob Elliot has become somewhat the forgotten man at Newcastle United in the past two years.
The truth is, despite being on the bench, it hasn’t been much better for Darlow, with Dubravka having played every minute of Premier League football since the beginning of last season.
Newcastle’s reserve stoppers don’t even get the opportunity to earn a spot in the cup competitions, and that is further proof of how far down the pecking order they currently are at St James’ Park.
Elliot appears to have had enough of this, with his last performance coming against Manchester City in December 2017 nearly two years ago, it looks to have gotten to him.
The 33-year-old can’t have many complaints looking at his record though, having shipped in 103 goals in 68 games, keeping only 17 clean sheets – not something to be proud of.
The Republic of Ireland international admitted, rather honestly, that he finds it difficult to be motivated when he is essentially training for nothing through the week with the Magpies.
“It’s nearly been two years since I was involved in a matchday squad,” he told the club’s official website.
“I think that’s the thing that frustrates me.
“The hardest thing is coming into training with nothing to train for. I know people say, ‘you’re on loads of money’ and stuff, but when you come in every day, you don’t think, ‘I’m on loads of money and I should be happy’.”
Dubravka has more than earned the right to cement his place in Bruce’s side, and despite some silly mistakes, he is usually reliable in between the sticks.
The 30-year-old has averaged 3.2 saves per game this season according to WhoScored – stats that place the Slovakian international in the top four of keepers that have played 10 or more games in the Premier League.