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Loach Credits Webster for Penalty Record
Monday, 22nd Jul 2013 06:00

Keeper Scott Loach says goalkeeper-coach Malcolm Webster is the man behind his impressive record of penalty saves since he joined the Blues a year ago. The 25-year-old ex-Watford man stopped Mark Byrne’s first-half spotkick during Saturday’s friendly at Barnet, having saved from Huddersfield’s James Vaughan and Derby’s Jamie Ward last season.

While delighted to be following in the footsteps of Blues legends Paul Cooper and Roy Bailey, Loach admits he didn’t stop too many while with the Hornets “Don’t check my record because it wasn't great at Watford!

“But it’s going all right here. I think it’s all to do with my work with the goalie coach, he’s taught me to be a lot sharper, a lot quicker and I think he’s just given me that extra time to see the ball and then just go.

“It’s pot luck at the end of the day. I’m not going to say I’ve got any special tactics or anything like that, but at the minute it’s working for me and hopefully I can just keep going like that.”

The Town number one says he’s had a thoroughly good time in pre-season, despite the squad being worked hard by Mick McCarthy, Terry Connor and their staff: “It’s been awesome. You know the manager, he’s very highly rated and the players all want to work for him. He’s made pre-season enjoyable, it’s been tough but you’ve got to expect that as a pro.

“The first four or five weeks of pre-season are going to be tough but he’s made them enjoyable and he’s made everyone want to be there.

“It’s not like you turn up on the first day and think ‘Oh God, six weeks of hell’. It’s not like that any more, and he’s made the club a good place to be.”

Loach believes the Town squad is closer than any he’s known: “I was at Watford for five years and I think this is the best team spirit I’ve known, and we had a good team spirit early doors at Watford. It takes a lot to beat that with some of the players we had there.

“The one thing I always say to people is that the good thing about us is that we’re all together in the changing room. There are no groups, there’s no little cliques or anything like that, everyone is really strong and we show that on the pitch.

“Sometimes we don’t play pretty football, we know that, but it’s all about getting the job done, like [Saturday], for example. That is the sign of a good team.”

Former Colchester United and Bristol City man Dean Gerken will compete with Loach for the role between the sticks for the first team this season and he says they get on well: “I didn’t know him before he came here, but I knew his reputation and to say hello to.

“He’s a great lad. People keep asking me whether I’m scared [about losing my place to him] but I’m not going to be the only goalkeeper in a club because they need to get someone else in.

“They’ve brought Dean in, who is a great talent and just like when Hendo was here I’ll work hard to try and keep him out and he’ll work hard to try and keep me out. It’s just a case of pushing each other.

“Me and Gerks shared a room in Ireland, so there’s no hatred there, so I don’t know where those rumours came from, if there were any! We got on really well, he’s a great lad and we’ll push each other and whoever’s playing on 3rd August [the other one] will be behind him waiting for his opportunity.”

He added: “Competition is a positive thing. I had it at Watford where, I’m not going to lie, I was cruising and you get to the point where there’s not really anyone coming through, so you take your foot off the pedal and become stale and hit a bit of a brick wall.

“I’m not going to say I was treated badly or anything else, I got stale, you need someone to push you, I realise that.

“When Hendo came in I think it showed towards the end of last year when I got my chance. I needed to prove something and I felt I proved it and I feel like I’m doing it this pre-season.”

Overall, Loach, a Town fan and Blues academy schoolboy growing up in Essex, is confident that the club will have a much better 2013/14: “You look at the team, we’ve got Chambo, Tommy, there may be more coming in as well. I just think we’ve got a good squad now.

“We’re slowly building a good, competitive squad and that’s what you’ve got to be in this league. It’s OK being fancy pants and all that, but at the end of the day the Championship is competitive and we’ve got to go out there and compete, week in, week out.

“I wasn’t here in previous years, so I can’t really comment on them. I was here at the start of last year and I don’t want to bad mouth anyone, but I know the fans weren’t happy with what was going on.

“I’d say now is a turning point. It’s now starting to look bright. But there’s got to be a bit of patience because we’re still in that transition period.

“We’ve not had a beginning of the season with the new manager, but if we can get off to an OK to good start there’s no reason we can’t have a stage in the season like last year where we went on a very good run. The fans have got to be patient, but it’s definitely looking up at the club.”

Photo: Action Images

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wkj added 06:32 - Jul 22
If loach works on holding the ball more when he stops shot he will be an amazing goalie. The great thing about Barnet is we really could hear the players communicate with each other and loach was boosting his goal really well. It was Never a penalty but regardless he saved really well

suffolkpunchdrunk added 07:54 - Jul 22
Great to read such a positive and uplifting article about our squad unity. It is going to be a fantastic season for us!

runningout added 08:17 - Jul 22
Not sure if MM is convinced Scott Loach is to be first choice keeper! Know he has number 1 on rear of shirt, but he still has a lot of work to do, as he knows

Farmers_Union added 09:18 - Jul 22
This is the attitude instilled by MM and TC. If the squad have this mentality we can go places. COYB!!!

gazzmac4 added 10:48 - Jul 22
Exactly the type of comments to hear on the situation from Loachy there, its great to see! Its good that he knows he cant coast and that he is clearly up for the challenge of holding down the number 1 jersey!

Think people are reading a little much into signing Gerken and saying that MM doesnt see Loachy as the number 1. As with a lot of the signings we have made, when they are a free agent its a no brainer really!

Really optimistic about the new season now! Which as we know can be dangerous! COYB's!

theobald1985 added 11:51 - Jul 22
Loach is number 1 no question
now lets get behind him this season rather than moaning anytime he makes a slight mistake

Seasider added 18:04 - Jul 22
Loachy says about training.How about taking players to the seaside one day in this lovely summer.Clacton has better beaches than Felixstowe and is a livelier place but Frinton has some lovely firm beaches to play on;but must check tides as the other week got there and not a bit of sand in sight.
Interesting about squad spirit with no big time charlies.Big Al said exactly same thing on Saturday when speaking on Radio Suffolk,was much the same under Sir Alf and GB until he splashed the cash.

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