Keeper coach Dan Watson joined Keith Curle’s coaching staff back in November and immediately built up a strong relationship with the club’s stoppers Morgan Bacon, Jack Bonham and Shamal George, adding Everton’s Louis Gray to the mix during the January transfer window.
A total of 11 clean sheets have been amassed under his stewardship [17 for the season overall] and he admitted that it was a pleasing statistic which is testament to the work done on the training pitch by his hungry crop of glovesmen.
“We’re really pleased with that side of things,” he said. “Forwards are judged by goals and keepers are always judged by clean sheets.
“The outfield players are obviously doing their bit to contribute, but we’re happy with how things have gone with the number of clean sheets kept so far.”
“There are three games to go and we’re looking to get a few more to add to the tally,” he added. “It goes without saying that clean sheets help you to get positive results and it’s a great habit to have.
“It gets you to a point where you work even harder to get another clean sheet to your name. The run we’ve been on recently has been helped by the work the team has done defensively, but there is frustration that there’s been one or two draws when we think the result could have been better.
“We want the run to continue because there’s still belief in that dressing room. That comes from the gaffer, because he still believes we can do it, and that spreads throughout the dressing room.”
“The immediate aim is to finish the season off properly,” he commented. “Training today was as intense as the day I first arrived, and the manager is still making us push as hard as we can as we go into these last three games.
“The good thing is that the lads are pushing themselves as well, so that makes the job easier from a coaching point of view.”
Speaking more about the keepers he works with every day, he said: “They’re really good lads. We like to enjoy ourselves and have a laugh, but they switch on when it’s time to go to work.
“It’s no coincidence that their attitude has brought the clean sheets and good performances along with it. Obviously Jack [Bonham] has been number one choice and he’s worked as hard as possible to maintain that.
“He’s been well pushed by Louis Gray, who has come in and shown a real hunger, and Morgan Bacon has pushed both of them along the way as well. They all want to start, but I believe that Jack could be up there in the Championship if he keeps going the way he’s going.”
And on his first six months in Cumbria, he concluded: “It’s been really enjoyable and, like I say, that all stems from the gaffer.
“From the moment I first spoke to him I could tell it was a no-brainer for me to come here. Everyone within the club is trying to go in the same direction and we’re all giving it as much as we can.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Dan Watson on iFollow United now.