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First shut-out lifts Shea

6 October 2015

Goalkeeper optimistic for rest of the season

James Shea is determined to build on his first clean sheet of the season and he believes AFC Wimbledon are capable of continuing a recent run that has resulted in just one defeat in eight league games.

The 24-year-old admits his second season at League 2 level has provided a test of a different kind after he took his rise up from Ryman League football in his stride during 2014/15.

But Wimbledon showed resilience at the back to defy Barnet on Saturday – and Shea is upbeat about his side’s prospects for the rest of this season.

“Apart from the Luton game when we had 10 men and still could have got something, we are unbeaten in seven in the league,” said Shea. “We have played extremely well lately and we were not getting what we deserved. Hopefully, it’s onwards and upwards for us now. We are always going to create chances with the way that we play and we just have to start taking a few more of them. It looked like Lyle took his goal absolutely brilliantly, though I was at the other end and celebrating myself!

“Last season everything went well for me. Nothing went wrong last season, but this season has been different. Hopefully, I can kick-on now and just get better and better. ‘Robbo’ has been brilliant whoever he has played alongside. Semi has come in and he has been brilliant in the last two games. Those two can have a good partnership. They (Barnet) were bombarding us, but I thought we dealt with everything well.

“We had a chat on Thursday and a lot of the players had their say because we had been conceding goals from set-pieces. That’s obviously something we don’t want to be doing. I think it showed on Saturday because we put it right.”

Joe McDonnell showed promise when he inherited the number one jersey after injury to Shea last season and the recent performances of Under-18 goalkeeper Will Mannion have shown that AFC Wimbledon are well equipped for the future in this position.

Shea certainly believes that is the case and he has been impressed by Mannion’s improvement this season.

“I read on the club’s Twitter updates that Will saved a penalty last week and he is going to get better and better,” added Shea. “I think he will be putting me out of a job soon if he carries on like that! Since he joined us last year, Will has come on in leaps and bounds.”

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