Robinson vows to repay McClaren faith

September 9, 2007

Paul Robinson has vowed to repay Steve McClaren for retaining him as England number one after admitting he feared he could have faced the axe for his blunder against Germany.

McClaren showed his faith in the Tottenham keeper for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel at Wembley on Saturday after his clanger had handed the Germans an equaliser at the same venue last month.

He responded by keeping his seventh clean sheet in eight qualifiers, although in fairness he did not have to make a testing save as England cruised to a 3-0 win.

But Robinson is determined to try to continue that sequence of shut-outs when England face what is likely to be a much sterner test against Russia on Wednesday.

Russia have conceded only one goal in eight qualifiers and England just two.

Robinson said: 'It's always difficult as a goalkeeper. You make one mistake and you can be out of a job. That's the nature of our profession.

'We make one error and everybody sees it. It (the criticism) is not difficult for me personally, I've got broad shoulders and I can take it.

'It's when it affects the people that are closest to you that it starts to affect you. But people close to me have been very strong over the last couple of weeks.

'It's obviously very disappointing when you get a negative press like that (after the German game). I've got very strong people around me.

'I am the most self-critical person. You speak to any goalkeeper and they are the most self-critical people you'll ever speak to.

'Every goal that goes in, the goalkeeper will analyse himself even if the goalkeeper had nothing to do with it.

'All goalkeepers are like that and, when people are pointing out your mistakes, it's even harder to take because you know yourself.'

Robinson admitted: 'Did I think there was any doubt I would start? Yes, in the week I think there was. But the manager told me during the week I was playing and obviously I was very pleased and now hope to continue through to Wednesday.

'I didn't expect to start. You never expect to start. I liked to think I'd start. I've played eight games and kept seven clean sheets in the qualifiers so I am always confident in my own ability.

'But full credit to the manager who has stuck with me and I really appreciate that. I hope I can repay him by keeping more clean sheets.

'I relished training during this last week, to show the manager I hadn't gone down, that I am still performing well and I hope I did that.

'The manager has been very good to me. I can't fault the manager. I think he's been very good with all the players. His communication is good. He's been honest with everybody, told everybody what's happening.

'I think that's the sign of a good manager and you can only get respect from the players when he works with you like that.'