Goalkeeper James McKeown pleased with Grimsby Town's 'solid' defensive unit
JAMES McKeown won't mind having a quiet afternoon's work when the Mariners welcome free-scoring Forest Green Rovers tomorrow afternoon (3pm).
The 23-year-old stopper says that while he's not being kept busy, it means the team in front of him is performing well – and that's just the way he wants it.
But, particularly in the last three games, the talented keeper has shown that he is more than capable of coming up with the goods when required with a string of top-quality saves.
First, he produced a crucial point-blank stop against Wrexham to ensure the Mariners left North Wales with a point.
2 4 1 on all items on the steak and grill menu served monday to saturday
Monday - Saturday 12noon - 8pm
cheapest item credited for free
Management reserve the right to withdraw the offer at anytime.
not to be used in conjunction with anyother offer.
Contact: 01472 808799
Valid until: Saturday, June 15 2013
In Town's next away game against Hereford, after being largely untroubled throughout the 90 minutes, McKeown kept out Harry Pell's top corner-bound effort with a spectacular save.
And then on Tuesday evening against Barrow he stuck out a strong right arm to deny Richie Baker's sweetly-struck half-volley.
But when asked about those crucial saves, the modest stopper said: "You just stick a hand out and hope for the best to be honest!"
"It's good to make saves and you want to feel as though you're contributing but, that said, I'd be happy going through an entire game having nothing to do because that means that the team is doing well.
"The Wrexham one just hit me. You work hard all week and it's good when they come off.
"But there will be other days when they'll go in and you're disappointed.
"It is nice to make the saves but realistically, you either make them or you don't."
Looking ahead to tomorrow's clash, which, on paper, should be McKeown's busiest so far this season, he said: "You're biggest game is always the next one.
"Obviously, Forest Green are top of the league and doing well and we're going to have to be on top of our game to win.
"You never know what's going to happen. We could go out again and I'll have nothing to do, which I'd be delighted with. But it will be a tough game. They've started well and they'll be up there.
"It's been nice to keep clean sheets and we've only lost one in seven which is great. With the fixtures that we've had, to only lose one in seven is something that you'd have taken at the start of the season.
"Everyone is looking forward to the Forest Green game. We were poor on Tuesday night against Barrow but still got a point, which is what the best teams do."
"We know we're only ever one game away from it being a crisis and one win away from being the best team in the league, so it's always changing.
"Hopefully tomorrow, we can get a good result."
Being a keeper, McKeown is in a unique position to see first-hand how solid the Mariners' defensive unit has been.
He says their record of losing just once in the first seven games is an indication of just how well they have started the season.
He added: "We've been outstanding defensively so far this season. Barring two minutes against Stockport, I think we've been really solid.
"The games when we dropped points at home were disappointing, but you can't go back and change it. It's been a great start to the season and the atmosphere around the place is good."