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Keeper Mark Howard praises team-mates for Blackpool shut-outs

Goalkeeper Mark Howard has played down his role in Blackpool’s six clean sheets from nine league games this season

READ MORE: Terry McPhillips anxious to add goals
The Seasiders share the best defensive record in League One with Barnsley, having conceded just five goals.

Mark Howard

Mark Howard

A major part of that has been Howard’s fine form but the 31-year-old says the defence in front of him – as well as the team as a unit –deserve the praise.

“I wouldn’t say it’s easy but it’s a recurring theme that I don’t mind,” Howard said of the clean sheets.

“It’s my job. I’ve got to keep them out and it’s my job to try and stop those. Obviously if I can save them that’s brilliant, but if I can’t I’m disappointed.

“I’ve got to be in the right position and make the right decision to make the save, that’s all I can hope for. But the defence has been brilliant in front of me.

“I am modest about my own performances. I don’t think it’s that important that I heap praise on myself. I’m more about the team spirit and how good we’ve been as a unit.

“Obviously the defence has been superb and I’ve had to make a couple of saves here and there.

“But as a team we’re defending brilliantly. You can see that all the players are putting their bodies on the line and are getting hurt, just doing the hard bits of the game.

“Hopefully the defence knows if they do make mistakes they’ve got me behind them as that last line.

“The clean sheets are definitely something to build on. With the base we’ve got, we know if we can nick a goal we’ve got a great chance.”

While the Seasiders are enjoying an impressive defensive run, it is at the other end of the pitch where improvements are needed.

Terry McPhillips’ men, who return to action at home to QPR in the League Cup third round tonight, endured their fourth 0-0 stalemate of the season at home to Luton Town on Saturday.

Just eight goals have been scored in the league so far, three of those from top scorer Mark Cullen.

Howard added: “They’re doing well in training. It’s just that final bit of quality in the games.

“Cully is working his absolute socks off up there and I feel sorry for him at times.

“His link-up play and everything is brilliant, but he’s then struggling to get into the box or to get the service he needs in that area.

“It’s just one of those things which we need to put right somehow.

“If we do it, then hopefully it will affect games and we will win games instead of drawing.”