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Forster save key to City success

PUBLISHED: 23:03 15 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:16 06 July 2010

Fraser Forster enjoyed what might be considered the ideal game for a goalkeeper: a clean sheet, three points, a spectator's role for long periods - and the praise of his manager for a world-class save.

Fraser Forster enjoyed what might be considered the ideal game for a goalkeeper: a clean sheet, three points, a spectator's role for long periods - and the praise of his manager for a world-class save.

The giant 21-year-old had peered through the driving rain as City swarmed around the Tranmere penalty area, troubled only by a decent, but fairly routine, shot by Chris Shuker which he turned around a post.

But minutes before half-time he produced perhaps the game's finest piece of individual play to prevent Tranmere from taking the lead. The visitors broke down the right, Shuker played the ball low across the area and Paul McLaren slid in with City defender Gary Doherty. It was difficult to tell who got the final touch, but McLaren was left holding his head in disbelief and Doherty trotted off a relieved man after Forster threw himself to his right to palm the ball away.

"I think any goalkeeper would say that would be one of the better games, when you don't have much to do and when you do you make the save, so it was a nice game to be fair," said Forster, whose only other concern came when Shuker poked the ball past him and against a post just before the opener.

"We dominated possession massively and I only had to make one save really. But it was an important one. I was amazed that their first player, Shuker, didn't shoot but decided to cross it instead. Then Gary Doherty slid in and got a touch and it knocked the ball up in the air and fortunately I managed to keep it out of the net. I didn't have too much else to do in the game, but obviously it was an important time, just before half-time and it was 0-0. It was nice to make the save and nice to get the win. "But that's what it is all about. I was delighted though to keep another clean sheet, my fourth in five games, but the whole back four was brilliant again. They all really put in a shift.

"Apart from that one save we were knocking on their door for the rest of the 90 minutes and in the end I thought we were unlucky not to beat them by even more goals. Every time we went forward I thought we looked like scoring. I thought our front three were brilliant again. They look dangerous every time they get the ball and when you have got three players like that you know you have always got a chance.

"We knew they would come here and sit back and at times they had all 11 men behind the ball. But the manager told us that would happen and we had been working on it all week in training, trying to make sure we moved the ball quickly.

"It's very important to beat teams like this and we just have to keep doing what we have been doing recently. But if we keep playing like this and winning I think we will have a great chance of achieving something at the end of the season."

By that time Forster could be back at parent club Newcastle, unless City can find the money or the need to extend his current deal beyond January.

"It's still a long way away," he said. "We will just have to wait and see what happens.

"Obviously coming here and playing in front of such big crowds will be really beneficial to me because I still hope to make it at Newcastle and they play in front of even bigger crowds, so it will have been massively beneficial playing at such a big club."

There is the possibility that Fraser will enjoy a rare double, should Newcastle return to the top flight at the first attempt, and City go straight back into the Championship.

"I haven't thought of that," he said. "It's still a long way away and hopefully both teams will get promoted. I think if we can keep everyone fit and just keep playing the way we are and keep doing the right things we will have a good chance."


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