Birmingham City under-23s boss Steve Spooner has praised Neil Etheridge for his performance in his side’s 5-0 loss to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night, during a recent interview with Blues TV.
The 31-year-old shot stopper was thrown into the action for the clash and played the full 90 minutes at Meadow Lane as he continued with his recovery from contracting Covid-19.
Blues found themselves 4-0 down by half time, with the scoreline having the potential to have got even worse if it wasn’t for the fine form that Etheridge showcased for his side.
Speaking after the game, Spooner was keen to reserve special praise for the experienced keeper, as he stated the following about Etheridge’s performance:
“If it wasn’t for Neil in the first half we could have come in probably six or seven down.
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“He was probably our man of the match, which is a sad situation when your goalkeeper is man of the match having had five put past him. But it could have been nine or ten and I am lost for words with it.”
Etheridge wasn’t the only senior player to be involved in the development game, with fellow first team players Jordan Graham and Juan Castillo all featuring for Spooner’s side in order to get minutes into their legs.
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Meanwhile the first team will be back in action for the Blues on Saturday as they play host to Preston North End in the Sky Bet Championship.
It is great to see Etheridge being involved in these development matches as they are providing him with the minutes he needs to get back involved with the first team on a regular basis.
He has been through a lot during the off and close season and now deserves the chance to prove that he can be involved heavily under Lee Bowyer.
There is certainly a lot more competition in his position than there was previously, so he must take every opportunity to impress the manager in both training and in matches as time goes on.
The experience he has in the Championship is invaluable and surely it won’t be long until he is back involved for the senior side.