Roberts insists he can still get better after impressive start to his Cobblers career

Goalkeeper has made the number one spot his own since joining in the summer

Friday, 8th October 2021, 2:45 pm
Liam Roberts.

Goalkeeper Liam Roberts insists he still has plenty of improving to do despite an already impressive start to his Cobblers career.

Roberts further enhanced his growing reputation among Cobblers supporters with a strong display between the sticks in defeat to Sutton United at the weekend.

However, just like when a striker scores in a losing cause, it was of little consolation come the full-time whistle as Sutton ran out 2-0 winners.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I can’t take praise when we lose because it’s a team game and that’s my job at the end of the day,” admitted the 26-year-old.

“I’ve got to keep the ball out of the net and two still went in so I’ll have a look at it and keep trying to get better because I’m always disappointed conceding goals, always, whether I can do anything about them or not.

“Ultimately, we want to keep a clean sheet and we failed to do that.

“I haven’t had the chance to look back at them but I definitely will analyse the footage and see if I can improve because those are the small margins which is the difference between staying in the game and losing the game. That’s football, it’s cut-throat.”

Roberts, with his smart reactions and confidence under the high ball, has been impressive as any of Jon Brady’s summer signings, but he believes the best is yet to come.

“There are aspects of my game that I can improve,” he added. “I’m always learning.

“I still think I can be more consistent with my distribution and that’s part of my game that can be improved.

“I work tirelessly day in, day out to improve that and I feel I can come for more crosses as well.

“I’m honest and open in front of the lads and I will take it on the chin because there are things I have to improve and I can’t just rest on my laurels.

“Jonny (Maxted) is training incredibly hard and he’s done really well when he’s come into the team so I can’t just sit there and think this is easy and I can relax – I have to be on it for every single minute of every single game.

“Even in training, I have to give it 100 per cent all of the time.”

The fact that Roberts was the overwhelming choice for man of the match after Saturday's defeat said everything about Cobblers' poor performance.

If not for Roberts, who made multiple saves in either half as Sutton racked up seven shots on target to Cobblers’ zero, this would have been a far more embarrassing afternoon against a team playing in the EFL for the first time.

“The standards we’ve set so far this season, that’s not us,” accepted Roberts. “As a collective, we’re all very disappointed.

“In the last few games we were competitive all over the pitch but when things aren’t going your way, you get frustrated and that’s where we have to be better as a team.”

Whilst Cobblers have been more workmanlike than free-flowing this season, it was hard to understand where this performance came from, though a lot of credit must go to the excellent visitors who bombarded their hosts with direct but effective football.

“We definitely didn’t underestimate Sutton,” insisted Roberts. Credit to them, they put in a very good performance and were better than us, but we put in our homework in the week and unfortunately things didn’t go our way.

“I don’t think we played through the thirds as we would have liked and a lot of the second balls we were away from.

“We looked at times like we were going to play and then we reverted back to second balls and we didn’t play into midfield and then play into the strikers, we just completely missed the midfield and played off the second balls from the forwards.

“Our distances have to be spot on as a collective. The conditions were tricky and things didn’t go our way but that’s where we have to be open and honest with ourselves.

“We’ll debrief it and put it behind us and look to bounce back quickly.”