On-loan Arsenal keeper Matt Macey didn’t feel under any extra pressure stepping into the shoes of Christian Walton for the Checkatrade Trophy tie with Yeovil Town on Tuesday night.
Brighton stopper Walton made a huge impression during his time with the club, playing 33 times, before he was recalled by the Seagulls on transfer deadline day.
All I can do is do my bit, try and play my game. I’m not him, he’s not me, so I won’t try and play exactly like him.Matt Macey
Macey was brought into the club alongside Reading stopper Stuart Moore and after having to watch from the bench against Grimsby on Saturday, had his chance when the Royals keeper was cup-tied in the Trophy.
On replacing Walton, Macey said: “Obviously, Christian’s a quality goalkeeper, I’ve heard about his season, he’s had a good season.
“We’re the same age, I’ve played against him, I know what he’s like. So there is that pressure there to carry on his good form.
“But all I can do is do my bit, try and play my game. I’m not him, he’s not me, so I won’t try and play exactly like him.
“I’ll just do my best to try and continue the good form he had in the start of the season.”
While Moore was thrown into the firing line against Cheltenham Town for his debut just hours after signing, Macey had a good week of training with Town’s squad before his first start, which he felt was of huge benefit to him.
He continued: “Definitely, I got to travel up with the team on Saturday and be involved in the environment for a week which has been great.
“It helps and is massive to be a part of it but as the weeks go on, I’ll get used to the boys and communication, set-pieces, it will just become easier, so that’s what we’re looking to do.
“I knew it was an opportunity for me with the Stu situation, and just to get out there in front of everyone and show people what I can do, it was what I was looking for.”
Macey admitted he had been looking for a loan move away from the Emirates, despite being involved with the Gunners to a degree, on the bench for nine Premier League and Champions League matches during 2015-16, and two EFL Cup games this term
He said: “Yes, that was the aim January time with the window open.
“I’m thankful for Arsenal for allowing me to do that with their situation as they’ve got to look after their best interests. To get the opportunity, I’ve got to take it when it comes along and that’s what I’m looking to do right now.
“It was so last minute on Tuesday, the opportunity was there and I took it. Another positive about being here is the size of the club and the way that it’s run and the way that we do things.
“I’ve already been here only a week and it’s just such a forward thinking club, so I’m really glad to be part of it to try and help.
“It can be a bubble (at Arsenal) and I came here, every day we’re trying to do the right things and it just makes it so much easier to settle in.
“I was just massively thankful for him (Nathan Jones) to take the risk and take me as I haven’t got a lot of experience, so I’ll just try to do my best and prove him right.”
Macey gave an impressive performance on his debut as Town reached the Checkatrade Trophy semi-final by hammering Yeovil 5-2, with boss Nathan Jones admitting he has a tough choice to make over who starts against Crawley this weekend now.
He added: “It’s a close call. We know we’ve got two real, real good young goalkeepers and we’re very pleased to have them.
“It will be a tough decision to make, but we’ll make the right one we think for the team and for this game.
“Both are training really, really well and it’s a nice dilemma to have.”