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Howard: Nice To Be Back

Goalkeeper Plays Key Role On Injury Return

11 February 2019

Mark Howard was pleased to end a four-match injury absence and play his part in Blackpool’s 2-0 victory against Walsall on Saturday.

The goalkeeper returned to the starting line-up and pulled off two vital saves in the second-half, with one of them coming from a penalty.

“It was nice to be back. It was frustrating to be out for a couple of weeks, but it was just one of those things where I needed to rest up properly,” he said.

“The game last week being called off probably did me a favour, giving me an extra week of full training and getting more strength back in my leg. It was a great result for the lads.”

Though the 32-year-old watched numerous clips of potential Walsall penalty takers, it came down to ‘a hunch’ when Matt Jarvis picked up the ball to take the spot-kick.

“You try and read as much as you can into their body shape and where they’re looking, but at the end of the day it’s just a hunch. I was just lucky enough that I’ve gambled and gone the right way.

“I had nothing to do first-half because the lads defend brilliantly, and I did the second-half. Obviously we gave them a bit of an impetus, giving them a penalty and I think they then gained a bit of momentum.

“It was just difficult for us to get a foot on the game and get out of our own half, really. It was a scrappy game, but we were delighted to take the three points.”

The focus for the team now quickly shifts to facing Sunderland in a rearranged fixture at the Stadium of Light tomorrow night.

“It will be a great game. Obviously there’s a lot of lads looking forward to playing at the Stadium of Light. We know how difficult it’s going to be – they were a very good team when they played us here – and it’s going to be a good test. We need a positive result to come out of it,” Howard added.

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