Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Clarke "back to best form" with Oxford United
9:10am Friday 27th September 2013 in Sport
RYAN Clarke believes he is getting back to top form following double shoulder surgery earlier this year.
The 31-year-old missed the second half of last season to have the two operations, which corrected a long-standing issue.
After a quiet start to the season, Clarke has been kept busy in the last two games and was named man-of-the-match for a performance which kept the U’s in the game in their 1-0 defeat at home to leaders Chesterfield.
While the goalkeeper was disappointed to lose the unbeaten record, he has been pleased to turn in solid displays week-in week-out.
He said: “I would like to think I am, I pride myself on being consistent and, to be honest, making things look easy.
“I’m not an extrovert in terms of that, but I think I'm back to my best when I’m playing consistently, and I think I’m doing that at the moment.”
Clarke’s only clean sheet of the Sky Bet League Two season came in the 2-0 win at Burton Albion earlier this month and he will be looking to double that tally at Hartlepool tomorrow.
He has not missed a minute for the U’s so far and is closing in on 200 appearances for the club, with only James Constable playing more often in the existing squad.
With the experienced Shwan Jalal brought in on loan as reserve while Max Crocombe recovers from injury, the former Bristol Rovers trainee knows he will need to keep standards high.
But Clarke believes the hard yards done during the long injury lay-off stand him in good stead.
He said: “I’m just taking one game at a time and I’m enjoying it this year.
“I feel stronger than I've ever felt.
“I have worked my nuts off to get back to where I want to be in terms of my standards.
“I like to work hard anyway and I’m quite intense on myself.
“I’m just looking after myself on and off the pitch.”
Comments are closed on this article.