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MANAGER: We have two good keepers

Keith Millen on competition for the number one slot

7 January 2022

With the signing of keeper Mark Howard finalised on Thursday afternoon, manager Keith Millen confirmed that he was pleased to get a key position sorted, with Magnus Norman also fit and ready to fight for the number one spot.

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“I’m pleased because it has dragged on a bit,” he said. “Mark has experience, he’s a calming influence, and he’s been a big part of the clean sheets I’ve had since I’ve been here.

“I was keen to get him to sign. He’s enjoying his football and I’ve now got him and Magnus, who’s fully fit, so that’s two very good goalkeepers.

“I want Magnus to push Mark and the more they push each other, the better we’re going to be.”

“I knew Mark was happy in his work and I knew he wanted to stay football-wise,” he added. “We’ve had plenty of conversations, so in that respect I was confident.

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“You’re never sure financially, that’s between him and the club, that was the stumbling block for a while, it was never the case he didn’t want to stay.

“I said to him the other day, come on, that’s enough now, let’s knuckle down, get it sorted and signed and we can move on. That’s been done now, so that’s another one ticked off.”

And with second-year stoppers Gabriel Breeze and Scott Simons also waiting in the wings, the manager commented: “We’re going to probably sit down and have a meeting next week to discuss the younger players.

“I love them being in and around the first team, but if they’re not playing it’s not good for their development.

“The younger boys who’ve moved on from the academy team and trained with us now, they need to go and play men’s football, that’s their next progression.

“We will look at that over the next week or two. It’s really important for their development that they go and get games.”

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