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Grew pleased for 'keeper

2 December 2013

Cruyff turn shows how 'laid back' goalkeeper is

Following his league debut at Walsall on Saturday, Mark Grew was pleased to give goalkeeper Sam Johnson bags of praise after the ‘keeper showed maturity above his age.

Known for being ‘laid back’, Johnson even showed off his ball askills with a ‘Cruyff turn’ inside his area, something Grew could hardly believe.

Grew said: “On Friday in the last few minutes of training when he did his wrist, I felt for the Chris Neal. He’s not missed a league game for so long now and it’s been a big part of our team’s performances.

“But I said to Sam three weeks ago when he came up from training, ‘Listen Sam, you have got to keep going. You’ll get your chance sooner or later this season through injury or maybe a poor performance.”

“He got it on Saturday and anybody at the game would say that he looked a confident ‘keeper on the day.

“A lot of people have said he didn’t have that much to do but I totally disagree. He came for crosses, he punched at the right time, his distribution was good, he read the game, he came to the edge of his box and swept things up.

“If you look at his shot stopping he maybe had three shots, but that’s nothing to do with it, it was the whole package I was pleased with.

“He never made a poor kick – actually he over-kicked three or four times, he was kicking that long and to top it all he did a ‘Cruyff turn’ on the edge of the box.

“I couldn’t quite believe what I saw. I asked him after the game, ‘what were you doing?’, he said ‘I just tried a Cruyff turn to get away from him.’

“That shows the confidence he has in his own ability. I have had him since he was fourteen and thought potentially he would make a really good goalkeeper, and if he keeps progressing, he will do that.

“People ask if he is going to be a good goalkeeper, well in my eyes the answer is yes, but until you cross that white line nobody knows.

“He had his chance last year in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and everybody said he did well. That was a fairy-tale ending, but the bread & butter is in the league.

“We always want to do well in the cup competitions, but the league is your bread & butter that is when the pressure really comes on.

“He did things well on Saturday like when he was slowing things down. We were winning one nil and he slowed things down and that shows maturity - he wasn’t eager to get rid of it. I am really pleased for him.”

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