Holy: I've Never Seen Anyone Take Better Free-Kicks Than Garbutt
Friday, 9th Oct 2020 13:37
Goalkeeper Tomas Holy believes one of the biggest threats from tomorrow’s opponents, Blackpool, will be provided by former his Town team-mate, Luke Garbutt from free-kicks.
The left-sided full-back or midfielder claimed six goals in 30 league and cup appearances for the Blues last season when he was on loan from Everton, who subsequently released him after he had spent 11 years at Goodison Park following a tribunal-fixed £600,000 move from the Leeds United academy soon after he left school.
Garbutt, 27, who clocked up 12 senior outings in his time for the Toffees, can also point to a further 10 goals during various loan spells at Cheltenham, Colchester, Fulham and Oxford, to underline his prowess from set-pieces within striking range.
Town fans quickly took to Harrogate-born Garbutt last season when he scored in three of the club’s first four league games of the season and, come the end of a campaign cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, many hoped that manager Paul Lambert would be able to add him to his squad on a full-time basis.
However, it soon became apparent that Garbutt was beyond the club’s budget capabilities, and he was actually without a club until his move to the Tangerines on September 22nd, signing a 12-month deal and having his first taste of action since March when he made his debut as a 62nd minute substitute in last week’s 3-2 home defeat by Lincoln City, who along with leaders Hull City are the only two League One clubs to be going into this weekend’s fixtures ahead of the Blues.
Garbutt made his first Blackpool start in Tuesday’s 1-1 EFL Trophy draw at Accrington, with the home side earning a bonus point thanks to their 4-3 penalty shoot-out success. He operated at left-back before being replaced by Demetri Mitchell in the 73rd minute, which left him unable to take a spot-kick in the exciting finale.
While Garbutt’s fitness will have been boosted by those two appearances, he did none of the pre-season work at Blackpool and if he is absent from their starting line-up tomorrow there will be no complaints from Town number one Holy.
The 6ft 9ins goalkeeper admitted: “I have never seen anybody take better free-kicks than Luke can. If he is on the pitch against us and takes a free-kick that will be a big threat to us, so I will be reminding Toto and the other defenders about that. But I think the boys know that already and all of us know what he can do.
“No free-kicks please – not even if they are up near the halfway line. I will be happy if free-kicks don’t even exist in this game.
“When we practiced them last season before games I don’t know how many I faced from him, but say he would score nine, I used to think ‘How is that possible?’ When he takes free-kicks, he’s a big threat, so no free-kicks if possible.
“If he doesn’t start, he might come on, so we need to be aware of the danger he poses.”
Meanwhile, Holy has declared he is happy with boss Lambert’s preferred style of playing out from the back. “I do like it because when I was a lot younger I used to play outfield,”
“I would play wherever they wanted me to play I remember being a central defender and also a central midfielder – so creative – but it was 16 years ago, kids’ football!
“If I played in midfield now I would probably get a yellow card early on because of my physicality but maybe I could do it late on. Put me in and you won’t regret it.
“But it’s true to say I have not been a goalkeeper all my life and I know it looks nicer when you can play out rather than just kicking it long.
“I have to work on it a lot because sometimes, technically, I am not okay. There are times when it beats me but I really like it a lot and I am happy with it because it is better football.”
Asked if it meant he had to make brave decisions as the last line of defence, Holy replied: “When I make a mistake, when I lose the ball, there is only the net behind me and that’s a really bad position to be in.
“So, yes, there is a bit of pressure but it’s something that I am working hard on with Jimmy Walker, the goalkeeping coach, and also David Cornell, every single day. We are looking to improve all the time so I guess we will get better and better at it.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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