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PRE-MATCH | Joe Day: “We’ve got a healthy competition and it brings the best out of both of us”

13 August 2021

Goalkeeper Joe Day admits that competition to be the number one shot-stopper at Newport County AFC is fierce but healthy as he battles with Nick Townsend for the starting berth.

Day returned to Newport County AFC from Cardiff City after two seasons with the Sky Bet Championship side in June and admits he will be fighting for his place in the starting XI.

Goalkeepers Day and Townsend have both kept clean sheets in the Exiles’ opening two fixtures of the season with 1-0 away wins against Oldham Athletic and Ipswich Town.

Townsend produced a string of immaculate saves at Portman Road whilst Day ensured the Exiles would claim a league opening day victory for the first time since 2013 at Boundary Park.

“We’ve got healthy competition as it brings out the best in both of us. We’ve got that positive relationship where we do bring the best out of each other and I saw that during the season I was here with him,” Day said.

“Nick is a fantastic goalkeeper and as I said we work really well together. Whoever plays in whatever competition at any point in the season we will be 100% behind each other and we will do our best for this football club.” 

The 31-year-old says his time in the capital with the Bluebirds has helped him better his game and adapt to multiple styles of play which will benefit the Exiles this season.

He admits that going from playing every week with the Exiles to a lack of time on the pitch with Cardiff was a challenging period in his career, although he's a returned a better all-around goalkeeper.

“I was number one here for a few seasons so it was hard to get used to not playing and I found it quite tough. When the opportunity to go out on loan came up, I didn’t hesitate to go out and continue to improve my game and apply different things to my style.  

“But ultimately, it was frustrating as well with the lack of opportunity and game time over the whole couple seasons.”

He continued: “One of the main things in my game that I feel has improved is playing out from the back with quick passing football. When I was here before it wasn’t applied as much but it’s definitely something I feel more than comfortable with.

"After playing with Championship players for the past couple years and even during my loan spells in League One, it’s one of the main aspects in my game I feel that has dramatically improved."

Day will be looking to make it back-to-back league shutouts when the Exiles travel to the One Call Stadium to take on Mansfield Town this weekend.

It proved to be a memorable occasion for Day the last time he faced the Stags, as the Exiles made it to the Sky Bet League play-off final after a nail-biting penalty shootout.

“The last game I played there was unbelievable and there was definitely lots to celebrate. So, hopefully we can go there, get a good win and the three points to make it another happy return."


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