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Club News

Howard's way

5 August 2014

On the eve of United's 2014/15 Sky Bet League One campaign, boss Nigel Clough says he is more than comfortable with the goalkeeping options he has at his disposal.

The Gaffer allowed George Long to move out on-loan last month, leaving George Willis as reserve to number one Mark Howard, but Clough has nothing but confidence that the former Arsenal trainee will keep his performances to a consistently high level.

Clough remarked: "There is a school of thought that goalkeepers need to have competition to get the best out of them but that doesn't seem to be the case with Mark in pre-season.

"He impressed against Fenerbahçe and made a couple of fine saves at York, despite knowing he is already the undisputed number one following George Long's loan switch to Oxford United.

"We have George Willis as back-up and he will train and learn from working with Mark, whilst George Long will get some vital experience in League Two."

Howard himself says he thrives off clean sheets and hopes to replicate the form that saw him became a regular in the second-half of last season, when the new campaign kick-offs against Bristol City at Bramall Lane at the weekend.

He added: "It is always nice to make a save, although I would happily stand there all season and not have a thing to do.

"That won't happen, though, so even if the team are dominating in a game, I must always be ready when called upon to do my bit. It is an old cliché but it is all about concentration.

"I hate conceding goals, so when the serious stuff starts on Saturday, all I will be thinking about is keeping a clean sheet."

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