Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor wants to be mentally-drained after every game

Ian Lawlor
Ian Lawlor
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Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Ian Lawlor says his goal is to leave the pitch mentally drained after every game.

And that is not to say the Irishman wants to be over-worked between the sticks.

It is often said that what separates the truly elite goalkeepers from the rest is concentration.

Playing in goal for top performing clubs means, more often that not, having little to do for long periods so concentration is vital for the moments when a keeper is called into action.

Practising shot-stopping and positioning is bread and butter but working on concentration is another matter entirely.

Lawlor says that side of the game is mental and is down to individual keepers to master.

“I think it comes within you,” he said.

“I think you have to find something in you to help you stay focused for the full 90 minutes and come off mentally-drained at the end.

“Whether you’re busy for the full game or you’re busy for ten minutes, it’s down to you.

“We know how important it is to concentrate.”

The 23-year-old demonstrated his concentration in last Sunday’s win over Scunthorpe United, making a vital save with the score at 2-0 after having very little to do beforehand.

“It’s the pressure that comes with being a goalkeeper,” he said. “That’s what we enjoy.

“It’s really important in the game.

“You might not be busy for 85 minutes or 90 minutes but in the 92nd you might have to make that save so it’s important you keep your concentration.

“I showed that last weekend, not having anything to do for the first hour or so and then making an important save.

“I was very quiet, I didn’t have a lot to do and that is credit to the boys for keeping the ball away from me.

“Always, when I’m called upon to make a save, I’ve got to be ready.

“I was quiet for the first 65 minutes and to make that save gave us a real boost.”

Rovers head to Oxford United this weekend and Lawlor is expecting a tough test from Pep Clotet’s side - one where concentration will be key.

He said: “They’re a really good footballing team. They like to get the ball down and get it moved quickly like ourselves.

“That’s how we want to play.

“It’ll be a really good test so it’ll take real concentration.”