‘I’m not happy with No. 2 anymore’ – Cousins

MARK Cousins knows full well that he has a fight on his hands, to keep his place in the team.

MARK Cousins knows full well that he has a fight on his hands, to keep his place in the team.

But the U’s keeper is no longer content with being an understudy. He wants to be the regular No. 1.

Cousins has started the U’s first five games of this season, after first choice keeper Ben Williams was struck down with a mystery viral infection during the Essex club’s tour of Holland.

Williams has slowly returned to full health, and full fitness, and has been named in the squad for this afternoon’s home match against Oldham Athletic.

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Cousins will be hoping to keep his place against the Latics, but he will have to maintain some high standards to keep Williams out of the team.

“I want to establish myself in the team,” insisted Cousins.

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“I’m not happy with being the No. 2 anymore. I want to be the No. 1, so hopefully I will stay in the team.

“Ben (Williams) played at Ipswich Reserves (1-1 draw in midweek), and he’s played one-and-a-half games now.

“Ben’s back in full training and I have always known that he will be coming back and pushing right hard to get back in the team.

“But I’ve been pleased with my performances and I’ve just got to continue with that now and hopefully we can get a clean-sheet against Oldham,” added Cousins.

The U’s squad sat down at the start of this week and watched footage of the goals they had conceded, concentrating on the mistakes made in the build-up to each goal.

Cousins himself has not blundered for any of the 11 goals leaked, although he is desperate for a first clean-sheet of the campaign.

“I’m still learning the game, and watching the games back always helps,” continued Cousins, who came up through the youth ranks.

“Sometimes in games you don’t realise what you have done wrong. However, sometimes when you watch the games you realise what you have done right as well, which is good to see.

“I am happy with my start to the season, though we have conceded too many goals really.

“To concede 11 goals in five games is always disappointing. You always want to keep clean-sheets, as a goalie and as a team.

“We do try to get forward as a team, and when our full-backs (Michael Rose and Brian Wilson) both push on, we are going to be looking a bit exposed at the back sometimes.

“We have to accept that as a team. Sometimes you might be outnumbered but we have the players who should be able to deal with that,” added Cousins.

Chelmsford-born Cousins, who made his debut as a first-half substitute at home to Barnsley back in 2007, when Dean Gerken was sent off, has had occasional mini-runs in the team.

The 24-year-old started the first 12 games of last term and today, if he plays, will be his 30th league appearance.

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