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Cherries' Jalal: I always think of the time I lost the shirt to Button
Published : 12 Feb 2010 07:00:00
DESPITE enhancing his reputation among the goalkeepers' union, Shwan Jalal's manifesto is unlikely to advocate resting on your laurels. The 26-year-old has seen his stock rise this season thanks in no small part to a series of assured displays during Cherries' promotion push. However, having seen his first term in office brought to an abrupt halt by Eddie Howe, Jalal knows only too well the pitfalls of complacency. Signed by Kevin Bond in the summer of 2008, Jalal was dethroned as Cherries' number one when Howe drafted in David Button just over a year ago. And although his exile lasted only four games, Jalal, who went on to star in Cherries' Great Escape, has used the experience to his advantage. I always go back to that point, he told the Daily Echo. Neil Moss (Cherries' goalkeeper coach) has drilled it into me that to be number one, you've got to train like you're number two. Training is fantastic and Mossy keeps us on our toes. I feel fitter and stronger and hope that is showing in the games compared with last season. Since regaining his place a year ago this week, Jalal has kept 21 clean sheets in 47 league appearances. His impressive form also saw him linked with a move away from Dean Court during the January transfer window, with Blackpool mentioned in dispatches. It was flattering, admitted Jalal. But you have also got to keep it in the back of your mind that it can be taken away from you just as easily as it is given to you. Mossy is always in my ear telling me to keep my feet on the ground and to keep working hard. I'm just enjoying playing for Bournemouth at the moment. I'm working as hard as possible because I don't want the success to go away. I've been lucky to have two great coaches in Mossy and Vince Bartram. They both played and their goalkeeping philosophies are rubbing off on me. It can only be good. Jalal will come face to face with one of the game's more eccentric goalkeepers tomorrow when Cherries' promotion bandwagon heads to Dagenham & Redbridge. Tony Roberts, who is renowned for his impressions of Superman, is still going strong at 40 and is sure to entertain Cherries' army of travelling supporters at Victoria Road. I've played against him a few times and he's an old head on young shoulders, said Jalal. He still throws himself about and is capable of making world-class saves. He keeps himself very fit and it's testament to him that he's still going. There is a real mix and match of keepers in League Two. You've got Tony who is 40 and Kevin Poole at Burton who is 46. There are also a lot of good young keepers and I think the standard is great. People tell me I'm still young for a keeper. I'm like everybody else. I'm ambitious and want to play as high as I can. These guys are still playing at 40 and I want to be able to do that as well. One of Jalal's many clean sheets came during Cherries' memorable 1-0 victory at Victoria Road last season when Mark Molesley's dramatic late winner stole the points. I remember it as if it were yesterday, said Jalal. But we can't afford to rest on past glories. We're in a very different position now and have got to put pressure on ourselves to get positive results in games like these. It's going to be another tough one. ¢ Don't forget to join the Daily Echo reporting team for our up-to-the-minute matchday blog as Cherries continue their bid for promotion. Log on to bournemouthecho.co.uk/sport just before kick-off and either join in the fun by posting your comments or sit back and watch events unfold.