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Walton: It Was About Getting the Job Done
Thursday, 18th Nov 2021 17:49

Christian Walton reflected on Town’s midweek FA Cup first round replay win at Oldham and admitted: “It was all about getting the job done.”

The on-loan Brighton goalkeeper played a significant role in securing the Blues’ passage to round two, most significantly with his vital penalty save in the first game at Portman Road that prevented a first round knockout, the sort of thing to which supporters had become frustratingly accustomed dating back more than a decade.

Instead, following their 2-1 success at Boundary Park on Tuesday, fans are eagerly awaiting an historic home tie against League Two opponents Barrow, against whom Town have never previously played a competitive game, on Saturday 4th December at 3pm.

The Blues had to come from behind to see off the Latics and Walton said: “Getting the job done was the most important thing. There were other replays this week and a few upsets, like Stockport being 3-1 down at home to Bolton and coming back to win 5-3 after extra time.

“It’s the FA Cup and you can get some mad results so we’re just pleased to be through. There were a few changes to the team and it was good that some of the lads had an opportunity to play and show what they could do.

“It was tough on the night and Oldham played well against us but we got through, which was the main thing.”

Walton, 26, has now made eight first team appearances since his arrival as the 17th of Town’s 19 summer recruits and was asked if he was surprised to be in manager Paul Cook’s starting line-up that showed seven changes from last Saturday’s goalless home draw with Oxford United.

“I wasn’t just happy to play, I was delighted,” he replied. “I played in the first game and when I was told I’d be playing in the replay I was pleased to hear it.

“I just want to play every game I can and as many games as possible. I want to keep the rhythm going by playing regularly.

“My penalty save was a big moment in the first game and sometimes you hope that big moments like that can trigger something, like us going up to the other end and scoring, but it wasn’t to be.

“I was really happy with the penalty save and there were a few crucial saves the other night too to keep us in it. I just want to keep doing what I can for the team and by doing that help us to move up the league as well.”

Walton is certainly no stranger to being on loan from parent club Brighton. This is his eighth temporary stint away from the Seagulls, for whom he signed his first professional contract more than eight years ago after switching from the Plymouth Argyle academy and completing his scholarship on the south coast in East Sussex.

He has worked with Town boss Paul Cook before, during two loan spells at Wigan, playing a leading role in the Latics winning the League One title in the 2018/19 campaign – keeping 21 clean sheets in 35 appearances – then returning the following season to help them stay in the Championship, finishing in 18th position.

Walton also worked with ex-Town captain, coach and caretaker manager Tony Mowbray, now Blackburn boss, who fielded the goalkeeper in every Championship fixture during the 2019/20 season when Rovers finished 11th.

Earlier in his career Bury, Plymouth, Luton and Southend were other ports of call for the 6ft 5ins Walton, who was born in Wadebridge, Cornwall, and despite joining Brighton almost nine years ago he has so far made just six senior appearances.

Capped by England at U21 level five years ago, the keeper has put a nightmare debut in the 5-2 home defeat by Bolton Wanderers behind him, growing in confidence and consistency to confirm his status as first choice.

Indeed, many fans who have been impressed with his recent performances are already speculating that he may become a permanent signing in the January transfer window.

Photo: TWTD

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Suffolkboy added 18:03 - Nov 18
Sounds like a really good idea to get him permanently aboard !

KiwiBlue2 added 22:08 - Nov 18
Having a competent and settled keeper is a real bonus. We have struggled in that department since Bart's departure so fingers crossed we can get Christian in permanently.

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