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Johnson mentally strong

9 April 2014

Grew praises young 'keeper

Sam Johnson has earned praise from Mark Grew for the way he has handled himself since the heavy defeat at Ashton Gate recently and says the young ‘keeper has proved have the mental strength required.

Johnson currently occupied the goalkeeper’s jersey with regular ‘keeper Chris Neal out injured, but Vale’s Assistant Manager and Goalkeeping Coach says the rivalry between the two can only be for the good of the club.

He said: “After the Bristol City game I was always looking to see how he reacted because he is a young kid and you have to be a strong-minded person and it is what you do in the next game.

“In his next three games he has won two and drawn one, so that shows he is getting mentally stronger. I think he has a big future in the game, but time will tell on that one.

“He has got everything you look for in a ‘keeper these days, he is big, he kicks well – although he didn’t kick particularly well in the first fifteen minutes on Saturday – he does usually kick well.

“He has probably got to get a little bit mentally stronger and he will do that as he gets more experience.”

Johnson is proving that Vale have two good ‘keepers in contention for a first team spot and Grew says they work well together.

“It goes both ways. Chris knows that Sam is there, Sam knows Chris is there. They are really good mates and they work hard together which is nice.

“They push each other in training, they have got good banter, so it is nice to have that situation at a football club.”

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