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Practice pays off for Roberts

15 January 2018

Goalkeeper Liam Roberts believes his man-of-the-match performance against Oxford was the result of hours of practice on the training ground.

The 23-year-old glovesman produced a string of superb saves in an entertaining 2-1 victory for the Saddlers.

Two saves were particularly impressive; a one-handed reflex stop from Wes Thomas’ close-range header and a spectacular finger-tip save to turn over James Henry’s 25-yard pile-driver.

“On a personal note, I was really pleased with my performance,” said the stopper.

“It was one of those games where you don’t expect to concede – but it was a great free-kick from their lad.

“Sometimes you just think ‘this is my game’. There are games when you’re off and games when you’re on it and this was one of those games where I was on it.”

Roberts believes his work in training with coach Neil Cutler, particularly on trigger points, enabled him to make those stunning saves.

“We play out different scenarios and look at angles across goal,” he added.

“We are working on where I’m positioned when a cross comes in, why I’m positioned there and where the ball is likely to go.

“If he heads it at the near post, I have to be more towards the near stick than the far stick because he’s more than likely going to head it there.

“It’s simply being in the right place at the right time and that comes with experience.

“You haven’t really got time to think – it’s got to be instinct.

“If you’re doing the same training scenarios and the same scenarios that will happen on the pitch, then it will become second nature.”

Roberts has started eight games this season in all competitions and is delighted with his progress.

“Coming in this year as a number two, my challenge was to become number one,” Roberts commented.

“To play games and be comfortable in games is something I’m proud of because I was a number three and a number two for many years.

“To burst through is a personal highlight.”


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