McCarthy Relishing Chance To Stake His Claim
Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has said he's loving his run in the first team under manager Mauricio Pellegrino having patiently waited for his chance.
Having arrived from Crystal Palace in August 2016, McCarthy made his Premier League bow in the match against Manchester United in December and since then he hasn't looked back having been restricted to Under 23 games prior to that match.
The 28 year old took us to our first shut out since October and has remained between the sticks ever since - keeping two clean sheets in three games.
Speaking to saintsfc he explained about his bow.
'Old Trafford is a place everyone wants to play at, in those big games, so it was nice to come in for that one. It was pretty much the perfect start. It would`ve been better to get the three points, but obviously it was nice to get a clean sheet and a point away from home. It`s amazing to be back playing. The last few seasons I`ve been frustrated with lack of playing time and injuries. To get out the other side of that and be back playing, it feels really good.'
Having had to bide his time under Fraser Forster and having had to contend with a hamstring injury as well, he went on to say about the goalkeeping unit at the club.
'It`s excellent. We`ve got a great school of goalkeepers here. With Dave Watson, we`re all supporting each other and pushing each other because we want to get better. I think we`re very lucky. It`s a very close goalkeeping unit! Obviously when Fraser was playing, me and Stu were supporting him as much as we could and pushing him as much as we could, and it`s vice-versa now.'
Going back to his bow having had a spell on the sidelines it explained it was about remaining professional, focusing on what you need to focus on to be prepared and not letting the butterflies overly effect you.
'You`re just excited. You occasionally get the nerves the night before, but nothing unusual. On the day of the game, you`re just buzzing to get out there and play. The manager pulled me on the Friday before training, so I knew before the session. I went out and trained like I do every day and prepared the game as I would usually. There was nothing in particular the manager said to me. He just told me to go out there and do what I do. I feel like I`ve come into the team, had a good start and long may it last.'
He added about his run.
'It`s obviously a nice feeling and I want to give back to Mauricio as much as possible, and to the team. I`m loving it. Obviously to get the clean sheet at Old Trafford was nice, and then at the weekend against Fulham as well. Hopefully we can have a few more clean sheets and a lot more three points. As you tick the games off, you gradually feel better and better, and stronger and stronger. Now that I`m back fit, the main thing for me is to stay fit. I`m very hungry and I want to play every game, so we`ll see where it takes us.'
As for our league form, he knew that had to change in the second half of the campaign.
'It`s a position the players and everybody at the club doesn`t want to be in. We`re in it, and we know what we`ve got to do to get out of it. I think by winning against Fulham, even though it was only in the cup, it gives us a lot of confidence going into Saturday`s game at Watford where we know three points are imperative.'