MARK Howard has expressed doubts about whether he will begin next season as Sheffield United’s established number one.
Although the former Arsenal goalkeeper appears destined to start this month’s League One opener against Shrewsbury Town ahead of George Long, Howard told The Star he is taking nothing for granted in the battle for a first team jersey.
“I not assuming that I’ll be in,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned I’ve got to go out there and prove that I’m worth it.
“I want to be involved because that’s what I came here to do. I’ve waited for a chance and if I get one now then I plan to take it.
“There’s competition for places and everyone wants to be in even though we work hard together as a team.”
Howard added: “If you come to somewhere like Sheffield United then you have to accept that type of pressure.
“I’d much rather have that than not though.”
Howard, who started his career at Arsenal, joined United in February following a short spell with Blackpool.
Like many of Danny Wilson’s recent targets, the 25-year-old has also worked in Scotland where the United manager has established a comprehensive network of talent spotters and scouts.
Although Howard has yet to make a competitive appearance since leaving Bloomfield Road, Long started two league games last term when the now departed Steve Simonsen suffered a crisis of confidence between the posts.
Wilson also deployed the teenager in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
United have received a bye into the second round of this season’s tournament.
“George is a really good goalkeeper now and I’ve got no doubts that he’s going to grow into a great one,” Howard said.
“So I can’t afford to rest on my laurels at all and I know that I’ve got to perform well whatever match it is in.
“The same goes for training.”
n Blades: P42