Newcastle United starlet takes on Joey Barton’s advice as Bristol Rovers spell hailed
Elliot Anderson has reflected on his successful loan spell at Bristol Rovers
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Elliot Anderson has reserved praise for Joey Barton after his loan spell at Bristol Rovers helped his ascension at Newcastle United. Anderson had a six-month loan spell with the Gas and has now gone from playing in League Two to the Premier League in a matter of months.
The 19-year-old arrived at the Memorial Stadium on Deadline Day in January after receiving glowing praise from Shola Ameobi and Steve Harper, Barton’s former teammates who recommended him.
Anderson had interest from higher-level clubs, but he was guaranteed game time at the Mem and joined a team that was in the midst of a promotion battle. The talented teenager ended up being the difference, scoring the decisive goal against Scunthorpe United to take Rovers back to League One at the first time of asking.
In what was his first time away from St James Park, Anderson got seven goals and six assists in 21 appearances. It was an experience that proved of massive benefit, preparing him for senior level football in a pressurised situation.
“I really enjoyed working under Joey”, Anderson admitted to Newcastle’s official website.
“He was a great guy and manager who took me under his wing from the first day I joined and it was a crucial time in my first loan spell.”
Despite only a handful of first-team appearances, Barton believed that Anderson possessed more ability than he did when starting out as a player. Barton had a 15-year playing career and featured for a host of clubs, including the Magpies.
He began at Manchester City and had a 10-year spell there, coming through their academy, making more than 150 appearances before moving on to Newcastle United. He was popular on Tyneside, playing a part in their Championship winning team in 2010 and later played for Queens Park Rangers, Marseille, Rangers and then two spells at Burnley, which made for 435 appearances in the professional game.
Given his experience in the game, Anderson was keen to take on advice from a midfielder that had played at the top level for some time. Three games in to his loan spell, Barton desired goals from his loan signing and he would do just that, getting an assist against Sutton United before a man-of-the-match display against Stevenage.
He said: “Joey used to say to me in the hotel before games there’s no reason why I can’t do it. “He’d say that I’m better than him and he was able to do it.
“He’d tell me little things to make sure I work hard every day in training and he wanted me to add goals to my game.
“In the first few games, I wasn’t scoring and then I started scoring a lot once the first one went in.”