'The competition is massive' - Walton out to make starting spot his own

Christian Walton is back in goal for Ipswich Town after replacing Vaclav Hladky

Christian Walton is back in goal for Ipswich Town after replacing Vaclav Hladky - Credit: Pagepix

Christian Walton won’t take his starting spot at Ipswich Town for granted but is now hoping to make the goalkeeping position his own. 

Walton’s debut saw him concede five in the Blues’ home loss to Bolton in September, with the Brighton loanee then ruled out with a hip injury as Vaclav Hladky returned to the starting line-up. 

But he was back in the side at Portsmouth, keeping a clean sheet on a night when Town dismantled their hosts in impressive style. 

“My debut was tough, coming into a new team, playing with players I’ve never been with before,” the 25-year-old admitted, when discussing his return the side. 

“I wasn’t getting too down about that and then I picked up an injury, so it was a tough couple of weeks. I pulled my hip flexor so I was out for just over a month, which was disappointing, but it’s part and parcel of the game. 

“I hadn’t played, maybe it was the fatigue, I don’t know, it was just one of those injuries that hit me and gave me a bit of a setback. But I was working hard with my rehab and watching from afar and I was buzzing to get back in there. 

“I’ve just kept my head down, worked hard and just been ready for my chance. 

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“Obviously it came (at Portsmouth), it was a good team performance and the lads in front of me did really well.” 

Walton played for Town boss Paul Cook for two seasons at Wigan, with his signing at the end of August suggesting the Brighton man would come in as first choice stopper ahead of both Hladky and Tomas Holy. 

“I think that’s been the case everywhere I’ve been, especially with this manager,” Walton said, when it was put to him he couldn’t afford to be complacent.  

“I think he tries to put that throughout the team that there’s competition for places and it’s not going to be just your shirt, you’ve got to work hard for it day in, day out. Your habits have got to be right and he’s on that all the time. 

“The competition for places at the club is massive. The other goalies at the club are top goalies, so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to walk straight back in the team, Vac (Vaclav Hladky) has done well. 

“It was clear from day one that there are two other goalies at the club who are top goalies for this level, so it was competition and something I wanted to take on. Hopefully now I can get myself going and follow on from that tonight and win on Saturday.” 

Town take on Fleetwood this weekend. 

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