Steve Arnold wants the Shrewsbury No.1 shirt for keeps
Goalkeeper Steve Arnold is determined to see off the competition and keep hold of the No.1 shirt at Shrewsbury Town.
The 29-year-old, a summer signing from non-league Barrow after impressing on trial, finally made his league bow for Town at AFC Wimbledon last weekend.
Huddersfield loanee Joel Coleman had been John Askey’s first choice but he was dropped for the crunch clash at the bottom of League One.
Arnold, who last played in the third tier with Stevenage five years ago, explained the mental resilience goalkeepers require to come in from the cold and stake a first-team claim.
“It’s not a case of ‘that’s me No.1 now, I’m in’ – I know Joel wants to get back in there and it’s my job, in the nicest possible way, to keep him out,” said the Hertfordshire-born shot-stopper.
“I want to do well, but at the same time Joel’s going to be on me, I know it. And Cammy (young goalkeeper Cameron Gregory), you can’t forget about Cammy coming through.
“All three of us want that same thing. Whoever’s in is in for a reason and it’s their job to keep it.”
Arnold, who is expected to keep his place in between the sticks for Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Salford, added: “The two saves in the second half (at Wimbledon) were nice but there are other points I feel I can do better personally. It was my first league game in a while, I’m looking to build on that and be a constant in the sticks.
“You almost want to go unnoticed, do your job, get a clean sheet and let the boys do the hard work for you.”
Arnold was unable to keep a clean sheet on his Salop league debut but made some crucial second-half saves as Town claimed a vital three points.
The shot-stopper, also formerly of Forest Green and Gillingham, said it is paramount that keepers remain level-headed.
“The game could turn in the click of a finger, you can make an unbelievable save and then one squirms under you,” he said. “You’ve got to have that mentally ability to stay calm.”
On the prospect of a Cup run, Arnold added: “I want one of the big boys. I’m a massive Tottenham fan so getting to the third round and playing at the new ground would be my ultimate dream. First and foremost it’s Sunday and making sure we do a job.”