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ETHERIDGE: WE DESERVE TO BE TOP

16 October 2015

Keeper back from international duty...

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge believes Walsall have done ‘extremely well’ this season and deserve to be top of League One.

The Saddlers climbed to the summit with victory over Burton last weekend and have taken 25 points from 12 league matches, losing only once.

“It’s fantastic for us to be top of the league,” said Etheridge.

“It’s where we believe we should be after our start to the season.

“To keep a clean sheet and win 2-0 against Burton last weekend was a fantastic result for the club and we’ve done extremely well so far.

“We know the ability we’ve got in the squad and we’ve always considered ourselves as contenders for at least a play-off place.

“We’re in a fantastic position and, with the way we’ve played, we deserve to be up there.

“People will now want to knock us off top spot but it’s our job to keep winning games.”

Etheridge missed the Brewers clash as he was away on international duty with the Philippines.

Craig MacGillivray deputised and produced an assured display between the posts – but Etheridge wants to reclaim his place for tomorrow’s match against Chesterfield.

“I was extremely pleased for Craig,” he added.

“I was really pleased that he kept a clean sheet and for the defence as well because I think it shows how far the club has progressed since last year.

“The manager now has a decision to make (on who to play in goal), but I’ve continued playing my football while I’ve been away and I know my ability.

“I’ve got to prove myself in training and I want to be wearing that number one shirt this weekend.”

While away on international duty, Etheridge kept a clean sheet in the Philippines’ goalless draw in North Korea but was unable to prevent a 2-0 defeat against Bahrain.

“Our first game in North Korea was very interesting,” admitted Etheridge.

“It’s a mysterious country. From what we could see, it was a very nice, clean place and the people seemed content with their lives. But you could tell that it’s a country not exposed to the outside world.

“We got a very good point and a clean sheet from that game and then we had a long trip to Bahrain.

"The travelling affected us; it was a slow game and the result didn’t go our way.

“But it was an interesting trip.”

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