Freddie Woodman | Clean sheets down to team effort
Freddie Woodman believes Swansea City’s 11 clean sheets this season are testament to the squad’s united defensive effort.
Woodman has been a key figure in Steve Cooper’s side this term following his season-long loan switch from Newcastle United.
His shot-stopping expertise and ability to start attacks from the back have been integral in the team’s campaign.
And a return of 11 shut outs from 37 league games is a promising return as Woodman continues to flourish in his first season of Championship football.
Woodman, though, is quick to point out the efforts of his team-mates.
“Clean sheets are great for any goalkeeper, but for me it’s all about a team effort,” said the keeper.
“Our back four has changed quite a bit this season because there’s so much talent in the squad, but it’s been great playing behind them.
“They’re a great set of lads and everyone helps each other.
“So every time we get a clean sheet it’s a pat on the back for everyone – defence, midfield, attack and goalkeeper.
“To have 11 clean sheets in 37 games is very pleasing, but it would be nice to have more in the remaining games.”
Woodman goes in search of a 12th shut out this Saturday, with the Swans' first game since football's return following the coronavirus pandemic seeing them take on Middlesbrough at The Riverside (12.30pm) in a behind-closed-doors clash.
The 23-year-old has also shone in deadball situations this season, saving three penalties.
He sprang into action in the second game of the campaign to save Martyn Waghorn’s penalty as the Swans claimed a goalless draw at Derby County.
Then, more recently, he denied a stoppage-time penalty from Fulham’s Alexsandar Mitrovic before a few days later denying Blackburn’s Danny Graham from 12 yards.
He added to his reputation as a penalty stopper, having previously saved penalties for England in the European Under-17 Championship final and the Under-20 World Cup final.
He added: “Penalties seem to have followed me around in my career so far.
“The most important thing for me is doing a lot of hard work off the pitch. A lot of analysis goes into it. It’s not just looking where a certain player struck his last penalty – it’s far more than that.
“All the pressure is on the taker, and when a penalty is awarded my homework kicks in.
“I’ve saved three this season, and it’s been great to chip in and make a difference.”