High praise for Pompey's clean-sheet hero
By Site reporter
Wednesday 23 Mar 2011 21:44:00
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He's one of the key men behind Pompey's success in the past six weeks - and now Jamie Ashdown has earned high praise for his performances from one of the people behind him.

Goalkeeping coach John Keeley says Ashdown has made huge progress this year - and has revealed one of the key factors involved in the keeper's high standards which have helped the Blues keep eight clean sheets in nine games.


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In an interview on the Pompey website, Keeley said Ashdown's role should be recognised even in games where he had not appeared to have much to do.

'If there is a game or two where he’s not called on to make flying saves it’s down to him as much as anyone, because it has a lot to do with his organisation and the constant talking that goes with it,' Keeley said.

'As a goalkeeping coach I probably watch a game that nobody else in the stadium does, scrutinising everything Jamie does. Then I watch it again on DVD.

'During a match I’m looking at his positioning as soon as the ball enters the opposition half of the field. If there are times when I feel his positioning is too deep I’ll show him the DVD and give him suggestions.

'He’s a big enough lad to want to learn and to try different things. In the defeat at Watford I just mentioned a different technique that he might try when kicking the ball. Since then his kicking has come on a bundle, but all the credit goes to Jamie because he’s the one who wants to work and improve.'

Keeley was delighted Ashdown broke Peter Mellor's record for the longest spell in a series of league games without conceding a goal.

'It’s always nice to break records and Jamie is the one that has done it, so I’m really delighted for him. To be honest it was Barry Harris who first mentioned it to me in the week leading up to the Sheffield United match that Jamie was close to breaking the record, but I decided to say nothing to Jamie. Then it came out in the media,' added Keeley.

'It must have been quite unnerving going out into the game with that added pressure, but Jamie did brilliantly.'

'When people say Jamie has had a quiet game they’re missing the fact that he probably kicked 30-40 balls from pass-backs, goal-kicks and free-kicks. The concentration levels throughout every game have to be absolutely right.

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