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Match Previews

Mark Halstead Pre Oxford

11 November 2016

Town 'keeper looking forward to being back in league action

Shrewsbury Town goalkeeper Mark Halstead is hoping to make himself ‘undroppable’ when Town take on Oxford United on Saturday.

Halstead has had to bide his time thanks to the good form of Jayson Leutwiler, but with Jayson away on international duty he has a real opportunity to hold down his place. 

Halstead was in goal for Tuesday night’s game at Middlesbrough and was pleased to keep a clean sheet.

“It was nice to get a game,” Mark told the Press.

“It’s nice to keep the run going that we’ve started under the new manager, nice to keep another clean sheet and I just hope we can continue this form into Saturday.

“I think it was a chance for a few of the other lads to impress and keep the form going. Obviously we’ve started quite well under the new manager, a couple of clean sheets and I don’t think it matters what game it is, everyone wants to win when they step out onto the field and it’s just nice to keep the run going.”

Mark’s has struggled to hold down a regular first team place in the last couple of seasons, but is hoping Jayson Leutwiler’s absence will allow him to hold down a regular spot in the side.

“I think under Micky and Jacko my opportunities were a little bit limited, but the new manager came in and said that it is a clean slate for everyone,” said Halstead.

“It’s just down to me and all the other players to show in training every day and when they do get opportunities you’ve just got to take them.

“I’m looking forward to Saturday. It’s obviously going to be a different test from the last two games, but it is an opportunity for me to showcase what I can do.

“I think the manager saw me play a couple of times when we played against them. So, I think if I do alright then I make myself undroppable.”

Mark will be facing one of his former bosses on Saturday and is expecting a difficult test, despite their position in the league.

“I worked under Michael Appleton at Blackpool,” said Mark.

“He came in as manager for a short reign, but as a coach he was fantastic. He was a brilliant and moved onto Blackburn shortly after.

“Oxford haven’t had the best of starts in the league, but irrelevant of that it’s down to us to show what we can do.

“It doesn’t matter who we are playing we are going out to win games every single week, whether it be Oxford or Scunthorpe, it doesn’t really matter, we need to show what we can do especially at home.”

Mark has been disappointed with Town’s season to date, but is determined to get Town out of trouble.

“We’ve had a poor start to the season,” Mark said.

“There’s no two ways about it, we’ve been poor. The league position shows that, but there has been positive signs in the last three games since they’ve come in.

“It doesn’t matter who we’ve been playing against, we’ve got two win in the last two games, but it’s now time for us to step up and do it in the league, because we need to get ourselves out of this mess that we’ve got ourselves into.”

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