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Howard reflects on career milestone achieved in Vale win

27 January 2021

Goalkeeper Mark Howard achieved his 100th career clean sheet as his team won 2-0 at home to Port Vale on Tuesday night.

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Following back-to-back wins and clean sheets, the 34-year-old reflected on another hard-earned three points and reaching the personal milestone.

“We’re all delighted, and it was a great performance from the lads. They all stuck to their jobs and we defended brilliantly throughout the whole team,” he said, speaking to iFollow Iron.

“The resilience we had in that performance was brilliant and it’s something we can carry forward now into other games. Even when we’re not playing well, we’ve got to show that side of our game. I thought we were impressive tonight, the lads defended brilliantly from the front, picked up a lot of second balls and I think that is what has helped us eventually see out the game.”

He added: “It takes the pressure off us defending when we know we’ve got goals in the team. We’re confident that we can be resilient, stick it out and try and get that clean sheet. We can catch players out on the counter-attack as we’ve got some great players in the changing room throughout the squad and we can scare a lot of defences in this league.”

After scoring five goals in two games, conceding none, Howard explained that the team spirit was high and is keen to bring that enthusiasm into future games.

He explained: “It’s something we need to keep building on and sticking to what we’re doing. We’re doing the basics really well and we’re trying to run harder than other teams and the proof is in the results. We are getting stuck in and working hard.”

Speaking about his personal achievement, on his 289th career appearance, he said: “To do it before I’ve played 300 games is something I’m proud of. Clean sheets are always something I’ve driven for, it’s part of the job.

“As a keeper you want to keep as many as you can. To get that over the line after the recent weeks is good to do. Hopefully another one on Friday (at Colchester).”

United are back in action on Friday as they face Colchester away, playing three games in six days. He said: “As footballers we enjoy it because it’s the quick turnaround, you want to play football - especially when you’re on a good run of form.

“We’re still disappointed from the result here as we should have scored (in that game after dominating), and obviously they beat us 1-0 on the night. We battered them all night, so hopefully we can take that form and confidence and create a lot of chances against them.”

See much more from Mark Howard on iFollow Iron. Click here to get your iFollow match pass for the away game at Colchester United on Friday night.

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