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York City goalkeeper Michael Ingham keen for clean sheet against Fleetwwod
MICHAEL Ingham has insisted results must take priority over clean sheets but believes now is the time to rack up more shut-outs.
The Minstermen have only kept the opposition off the scoresheet in one of their last ten matches ahead of this afternoon’s home match with Fleetwood.
Ingham is hoping the visit of the Cod Army can prompt better fortunes at the back with eight goals having also been condeded during the last three games following back-to-back 3-0 defeats against Rotherham and Newport prior to Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw at Chesterfield.
The long-serving City keeper said: “We could have stopped all three goals at Newport and, against Rotherham, they got stronger in the second half after we gave them the initiative by conceding a silly penalty.
“We have let in some bad goals this season through individual errors but we are looking to steady the ship and correct that soon. I don’t really mind if we win 4-3 or 3-2 every week but the gaffer wants us to keep clean sheets and I agree that is the basis we need to start from because clean sheets can win you games if you nick a goal yourselves.”
With 109 clean sheets for City, Ingham is 11 short of the club record held by 1955 FA Cup semi-final hero Tommy Forgan, to whom City’s current custodian sent a framed shirt to the Happy Wanderer’s Australian home as an 84th birthday present.
On the possibility of taking Forgan’s place in the history books, Ingham added: “My contract is up at the end of this season but, if I reach my normal target, I will be there or thereabouts.
“It’s something I will maybe think about more if I get about five away.
“It would be a great honour to get the record and something to look back on when I have retired. Tommy has said he wants me to break it, which is really nice.”
In six past meetings, Ingham has managed to keep Fleetwood off the scoresheet three times and he reckons the clubs are more closely matched on the field than they might be off it, reasoning: “Their budget is ridiculous and they are paying players way more than other teams in the league, which attracts Championship and League One players.
“But, if you just look at who missed out on our squad on Tuesday, in Jamal Fyfield, Ash Chambers, Craig Clay and Tom Allan, that’s a statement.
“With the likes of Ryan Bowman, Richard Cresswell and Chris Smith on the bench as well, we have more options this season than any I can remember.
“Fleetwood will be a good, well-drilled side but we have nothing to fear and, if we can play as we did against Chesterfield, we will cause them problems.”
The City shot-stopper will also come up against three former City team-mates this afternoon when Matty Blair, Jon Parkin and Charlie Taylor all return to Bootham Crescent.
On his respect for the trio, Ingham said: “Charlie was a young lad coming from a big club trying to get experience when he came here and sometimes those moves work out and sometimes they don’t. I know that because I went on loan 12 times from Sunderland.
“It didn’t really work out for him here but you could see on the training ground that he was a good player.
“Parky is a handful on his day and a great character in the changing room.
“He’s somebody I will have a chat with today and if Blairy plays, or Forrest Gump as we call him, then he will be a threat because he never stops running, but I think the lads at the back know what he’s like and should be able to deal with him.
“He’s a great guy though and the changing room was quieter after he left, until Josh Carson came along and then it went up another level.
“I will probably be lifelong friends with Blairy because of what we did together for the football club.
“We had great days and he scored one of, if not the, most important goal ever for the club so I hope he gets a good reception but not a goal.”
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