Blackpool number one Jak Alnwick welcomes the added competition for his goalkeeper’s jersey following Mark Howard’s return to action.
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Alnwick, on a season-long loan from Rangers, is set to make his 16th straight League One appearance for Pool at home to Peterborough United tomorrow.
However, not only does he have regular deputy Chris Mafoumbi fighting for his shirt but Alnwick now faces the challenge of a fit-again Howard.
The 33-year-old was the Seasiders’ first choice until he ruptured an Achilles in March.
He has not played for Blackpool since but is expected to make his third appearance for Salford City as an emergency loan player at Newport County tomorrow.
Alnwick said: “I think it’s a battle no matter who is fit. Chris (Mafoumbi) has stood in at times and has done really well.
“Mark is obviously a brilliant keeper but I’ve played every league game and it’s down to me to keep the shirt.
“I think the group of goalkeepers we’ve got here – and I include Jack Sims in that – we are pushing each other each day.
“We are all different in our styles, with different sizes. But we’re a close-knit group of players and we try to get the best out of each other.
“As a keeper, if I’ve got someone pushing me who has played in the Premier League or who hasn’t played in the Football League at all, you’ve still got to perform, especially when you’re playing for a big team that is trying to do something.
“It’s good to have Mark back because he’s a great goalkeeper and a great bloke, and I’ve only got good things to say about him.”
And the 26-year-old is pleased with his own form, adding: “It’s been really good because I’ve played every minute in the league, which was my aim.
“I want to keep the number one jersey for as long as possible and help this team as much as I can.
“There have been games where I’ve had virtually nothing to do, which are the best games, but in some I’ve been really busy.
“But as a squad we’re getting there and with a couple of lads back fit we will hopefully kick on.”