City goalkeeper Fraser Forster is expecting a tough test at Oldham today, despite the Latics slipping into the relegation zone in recent weeks.
Dave Penney’s men are on an awful run of form and now sit fourth from bottom in the League One table.
But the on-loan City stopper insists that the Boundary Park club will be scrapping and fighting all the way. They won’t give the league leaders an inch….
“Every game is different playing away from home,” he told the press at Colney yesterday, before the team set off for Greater Manchester.
“They are all different for certain reasons and many teams are now trying to pick up points for their own reasons at this stage of the season. It will be a hard game.
“We have just got to go there and do our job and pick up the three points however we do that.”
It goes without saying that Forster would rather be facing the pressure of being table-toppers, rather than the different type of strain at the other end of the division.
And despite predicting a tricky encounter in the north west, the Hexham-born ‘keeper says that confidence is high in the Canary camp and on a personal level, even though he has not managed a clean sheet since January 23 in the 1-0 win over Brentford.
“When you are winning and doing well it’s always good,” continued the Newcastle man, on loan in Norfolk until the end of the season.
“It’s different to struggling at the other end, fighting relegation. With the long trips it’s bit more depressing when you’re losing.
“But at the moment we are looking forward to each game like we are this weekend against Oldham.
“It is ideal to keep a clean sheet and it keeps the pressure off the front men. But for certain reasons that has not happened of late.
“But hopefully we can get a clean sheet at Oldham and it can kick us on again.”
That said, despite the lack of blanks of late, the 21-year-old has not been tested too much, apart from in the recent Saints defeat.
He was a bystander for long periods against Southend on Tuesday night in that last-gasp success. But whenever called upon, Forster has been in fine form.
And he revealed that the boss at Newcastle, Chris Hughton, is pleased with his progress during the ‘keeper’s time at Carrow Road.
“It was a hard 90 minutes on Tuesday, we worked hard and were probably unlucky not win it by more with the amount of the ball we had. But it was a fantastic result.
“Having not many saves to make is great for a goalkeeper but do you know what, that just shows how well the rest of the lads are doing.
“Everyone is happy with how I am doing, so the feedback has been pretty good [from Newcastle]. I still get to train up there a bit and it’s good as they get to keep an eye on me so it’s working out well.”
There has been some talk in recent weeks that Forster’s consistently excellent performances for the Canaries should warrant an England Under-21 call up.
City boss Paul Lambert has certainly championed his cause, describing some of his saves as “world-class”.
But Forster isn’t getting too worked up about what may or may not happen. As far as he is concerned, finishing the job and getting Norwich back into the Championship is priority number one.
“I want to focus on playing here. If that happens, great; if not, it’s not the end of the world. Getting Norwich promoted is the first aim, anything else that comes with that would be a bonus.”
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