West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone saved a penalty on Saturday to help earn the Baggies a point at Phillip Cocu’s Derby County.
The 26-year-old responded to critics on Twitter before the game, saying ‘should save everything according to some ppl (people)’ which was him replying to a number of supporters who have questioned his goalkeeping ability in past weeks.
Albion fell behind to a penalty early on at Pride Park but Johnstone then saved Martyn Waghorn’s second spot-kick of the game before half-time, which proved to be crucial in the course of the game. Once more, Kenneth Zohore scored a penalty of his own to secure a point.
It keeps Slaven Bilic’s side unbeaten, and sitting in 8th in the table ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Blackburn Rovers and the stopper revealed his thoughts on the criticism he has had when speaking to the Express & Star.
“I heard the fans singing, and it gave me confidence. It is what it is, fans praise you, they say other things, you see a lot of stuff now. That’s just social media. It was earlier on in the week and it’s finished now.
“It’s someone’s opinion. You have your opinion on me, you might think I’m rubbish. It is what it is. All that matters to me is my team-mates, my manager, my goalie coach – and when the fans are loud like that at away games, singing your name and about the manager and the team that also gives us the extra edge to keep going and get an extra goal to go and win it.”
It may not have been the right thing to do for Johnstone to respond to the criticism on Twitter, but he then proved himself right by saving a penalty on Saturday.
That’ll do him the world of good having come in for some harsh comments at the start of the season. It’s a shock, as West Brom remain unbeaten and most of the goals conceded were not blatantly the keepers fault.
He needs to make sure that he doesn’t let it get to him, otherwise he may find in future weeks that it will begin to play on his mind. Just like it has with Jack Butland.