Howard’s way

Mark Howard
Mark Howard
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Goalkeepers, Brian Glanville once said, are different.

Certainly the challenges, both mental and physical which confront them throughout their professional careers, bear little resemblance to those faced by their outfield colleagues in defence, attack or midfield.

Sheffield United’s Mark Howard, who earlier this month regained his starting place following a long period on the sidelines, provided a fascinating insight into the demands of the role ahead of the crucial League One encounter against Bristol City.

Yes, he admitted, it can be a difficult experience being forced to work throughout the week knowing you have precious little chance of actually featuring in a game. But no, Howard insisted, that does not stretch to wishing ill-fortune upon those fellow goalkeepers with whom they share a special bond.

“I wanted to earn my place,” Howard, who has spent much of this season deputising for George Long, said. “Not get it by default or because something bad has happened to someone else.”

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