Keeper Jack Bonham made it two clean sheets in a row on Saturday with an impressive last minute save which helped his side to an important three points from what was a tight game against Crewe Alexandra.
We spoke to him about it shortly after full time on match day.
“It’s obviously two clean sheets in a row so that’s nice for me, and it’s nice for the back four to get it as well,” he said. “It leads us into Tuesday and it was another good result and a good three points.
“We went in at half time knowing that we were nowhere near our level, but it’s important when it’s like that to stay in the game. Sometimes you just have to grind it out and win ugly, which I think we did today.”
“It was all about the result, because three points is three points,” he continued. “You can play a team off the park and still lose the game. In this league you find that every game is tight, so it’s important to show you can win them.
“It can’t always be pretty, so it’s good to know we can play that way as well. Crewe kept the ball well and they moved it around quickly. It was hard for us to get on the ball and implement our style in the first half.
“We had to work hard at it and you’ll have seen that we had to go longer on occasions. That meant we could play off second balls and Sam Cosgrove did really well to get his goal.”
“I’m delighted for him that he got it,” he told us. “I live with him and he’s been waiting patiently for an opportunity. He’s grabbed it with both hands and his goal is a reward for that.
“He was unlucky that he was flagged offside against Sheffield Wednesday, and again today, but he kept plugging away and it’s happened for him.
“Waiting for your chance is just part and parcel of football. It’s tough when you’re out of the team. When it happened to me it’s when you realise that you’re 300 miles from home and you don’t enjoy it.
“Ultimately you’ve got to find a way round it. All you can do is work as hard as you can, but you know when the opportunity comes you have to be at a level better than where you were before it came along.”
On the chances of the team making a push for the play-off places, he said: “I think we’re at a point where we have to be winning games. We’re well into the season and we need to be pushing for the play-offs, possibly even third spot.
“Like I said, sometimes you just need to find a way to win a game and three points from this game was just as good as a 5-0 win down at their place.
“We’re looking for consistency as well now, and two clean sheets in a row helps with that. A little run is important because you’re never too far away if you can string wins together. It’s just really important to keep picking up results.
“We’ve done well at the back this year, other than a few sloppy decisions and silly errors which have cost us in some games. If we can keep it tight at the back we know we have goals up top and the lads will take their chances.”
Two notable saves on Saturday afternoon were almost 90 minutes apart as he got enough on an early chance from Bowery to send it onto the post, and then parried the last kick of the game away to safety as The Alex tried to grab a late leveller.
“I actually thought I’d messed the first one up a bit,” he admitted. “I thought he was going to take it round me, so I spread a little late. The ball clipped the underside of my leg, and I’m not sure if that helped it onto the post or helped to turn it towards the post, but it was nice to see it come back and for me to keep it out.
“The shot later in the game was a bit of a tricky one because it was moving about quite a bit. I think it was heading for the corner, and when it’s doing that you just have to get as much as you can on it. I wanted to parry it into a safe area and luckily enough their guy couldn’t get it under control.”
On his own confidence levels, having played much of the season as United’s number one, he commented: “With playing games I can feel myself improving. Consistency in kicking was a big thing for me, because that’s one of my strong points, and I struggled with it a bit earlier in the season.
“I feel like I’m finding my feet again and I’m kicking the ball better again. I’m hitting the right areas consistently, but there are always areas where you can progress. The manager has said he thinks there’s more to come from me and I agree with that.”
And on Tuesday night’s trip to Hillsborough, he said: “It’s a great opportunity for everyone. We did what we needed to do last time we played them and it’s a chance for us to go and showcase ourselves.
“If you keep a clean sheet against a Championship side you have to be happy, so we’ll be looking to do that again. If it goes all the way to extra time the manager will have a game plan for it.
“I’m sure we’ll be doing our research on penalty takers as well. I have a little secret on penalties, but I won’t be revealing what that is. We’ll just have to take it as it comes.”