Talk? Cousins needs more of it

COLCHESTER United keeper Mark Cousins is pulling off the saves and keeping the clean-sheets, but he is still not happy with one aspect of his game - the ability to talk loudly!

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United keeper Mark Cousins is pulling off the saves and keeping the clean-sheets, but he is still not happy with one aspect of his game - the ability to talk loudly!

Cousins is currently enjoying his longest run in the first team, a run that has seen him play at most of the top teams, including leaders Leicester City and third-placed Millwall.


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The Essex-born custodian, who celebrated his 22nd birthday earlier this year, impressed in Tuesday night's battling 1-0 victory at Millwall. Now he is looking forward to this Saturday's attractive home game against Leeds.

His hands are doing the talking, but he also realises that he needs to improve his communication skills.

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“It's difficult to make yourself heard in front of such big crowds, but I'm working on it,” insisted Cousins last night.

“It's great to be having this run in the team, and I'm determined to keep my place in the team. It's such a big difference playing on the big stage, at places like Leicester, rather than just playing for the reserves in front of a maximum 100 people.

“I've started to feel a lot more confident now, which comes with playing games. I still get a bit nervous, but that's natural.

“The gaffer (Paul Lambert) has told me that I need to be more vocal, and George (goalkeeper coach Ademole Bankole) also tells me that I need to tell the defence what to do,” added Cousins.

He did not have to dish out too many instructions to his four-man defence at the New Den, because they hardly put a foot wrong. Striker Clive Platt then rounded off a perfect evening by heading home an 84th minute winner.

It was Cousins' fifth clean-sheet in 12 senior appearances this season, which have been made up of eight in the league, three in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and one in the FA Cup.

And it was such a contrast to last weekend's disappointing 3-0 defeat at Scunthorpe, when Cousins was exposed by an error-ridden defence - Iron striker Gary Hooper scored twice with one-on-one situations.

“We needed to put in a decent performance at Millwall, especially for ourselves, and that's what we did. It was 0-0 at the break and we were determined to go on and keep a clean-sheet.”

Having played in front of a crowd of more than 20,000 at the Walkers Stadium, in the U's 1-1 draw against Leicester, Cousins is now relishing the prospect of a record crowd at the Community Stadium (for a U's match) for Saturday's visit of Leeds.

“Beating Millwall is the perfect tonic ahead of the Leeds game,” admitted Cousins.

“It's a massive game, and we're all looking forward to it. Hopefully, I'll keep my place because it's a game that I really want to play in.”

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