Clarets keeper Lee Grant aiming for first clean sheet

KEEPER Lee Grant returns to former club Derby tomorrow looking to register Burnley’s first clean sheet in 18 games.

Friday, 26th August 2011, 3:41 pm

The side’s last shut out came at Hull in March - when Grant had one of his best games for the club in a 1-0 win.

Burnley have, so far, conceded 10 goals in five games this season, but, on the flip side, have scored 11.

The Clarets’ cavalier nature seemed ingrained in the club, and Grant hopes the team can find a balance between attacking flair and defensive solidity: “For as long as I can remember Burnley have been a side who try to score more than the opposition, and it seems that’s kind of a thing that’s embedded in the club.

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“It’s difficult to change that overnight, but I’m sure we’ll get some fine defensive displays over the next few weeks and things will push on from there.

“It’s difficult because we try to focus on playing well and playing with freedom, and passing the ball and not having to worry about the shape at the back, but on the flip side, in this division you obviously want to keep clean sheets and be solid and be tough to beat.

“It’s hard to find the balance sometimes but I’m sure we will and I’m sure we’ll come good in that respect.”

Individual errors have proved costly, and Grant feels the side are being punished for every slip: “It does feel like that a little bit, but over the course of the 40-odd games I’m sure we’ll get the rub of the green and I’m sure things will go our way.”

The goalkeeping jersey swung from Brian Jensen to Grant and back again last season, but Grant has started this campaign as number one, and is keen to hold onto his place: “It’s fantastic. I came back and kept my head down in pre-season after working hard in the summer. It’s just a case of doing the things I believe in and hoping they pay off and thankfully they did.”

Eddie Howe has added a third keeper in Jon Stewart from Bournemouth - who enjoyed a fine reserve team debut on Wednesday night, saving a penalty and making a string of saves in a 2-1 reverse at home to Preston.

And Grant feels the added competition can only be a positive: “Jon’s a really good lad and settled in great with the boys.

“To me, I think he can go on and be a great goalkeeper. I’m not sure if he knows that yet but I think he’s got all the tools to go on and do whatever he wants to do in this division and above if he feels he can do that.

“He’s a big boy. He can’t borrow boots off anyone else! But he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll do well for the club.

“He’s certainly come in and added another dimension to it.

“It’s only going to help the department.”