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League Two

League Two Player of the Month: James McKeown

9 November 2018

Grimsby Town goalkeeper James McKeown has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for October.

Four clean sheets in five games for a keeper at his shot-stopping best in October. Acrobatic as ever, he made a series of saves against Colchester and Crewe as well as a spectacular penalty stop to preserve a draw against Exeter.

Grimsby Town manager Michael Jolley said: “Right through the season he’s been a consistent performer. We worked really hard as a football club to try and retain his services in the summer, to make sure that he stayed here.

“He’s repaying the faith we showed in him with some really excellent performances.

“Congratulations to him. Hopefully he can continue and get even better as the season continues.”

McKeown said: “Being a goalkeeper, you might get the odd well done here and there but in general you don’t get a lot of recognition.

“I always think you are quite happy if you’re like a referee really and don’t get noticed, take your six out of ten and that will do. This is definitely for the goalie’s union.

“It was a good month for us as a team, not conceding goals, but that isn’t just down to me, it is not just down to the back four either it is down to the whole team, so I suppose it is for everyone.

“I suppose the penalty save against Exeter was obviously as a goalie that is your one moment where you don’t have any pressure and no one expects you to save it, so it was nice to save that one and help get us a point.

“You are totally judged on your clean sheets, you can play really well, lose 1-0 and no one really remembers that you played well. It just gets forgotten about.

“You are always on the brink of sort of a mistake and getting blamed, that is why we do it I think, as a goalie you have to embrace that pressure.

“So, to get this side of it where you get a run of decent games and decent performances it is obviously very pleasing and then to get something like this at the end of it is like the cherry on top really.”

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It says something about the strength of McKeown’s record in October by highlighting how rare it is for a goalkeeper to win this award.

“There have only been two stoppers to win any of the EFL monthly awards over the previous five seasons, but McKeown’s five clean sheets and a penalty save made him impossible to ignore.”

Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Grimsby goalkeeper James McKeown was at his best in October as he chalked up four clean sheets in five games to help ease any relegation fears. The Mariners traded as short as 7/4 at the start of month but are now out to 11/4.”

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