I'm grateful to County, says departing loan star

First published in Latest Football

GOALKEEPER Ian McLoughlin is set to play his final game for Newport County AFC today and he’s thanked the club for giving him the chance to show what he can do, writes Andrew Penman.

If the 21-year-old loan star gets the nod over Lenny Pidgeley once again it will be his last match before he returns to parent club MK Dons next week.

And McLoughlin is grateful for the experience he has gained during his two months at Rodney Parade.

“I’ll be heading back to MK,” said the Irish under-21 international. “I’ve got another year there and they’ve got good keepers here in Lenny Pidgeley and Jamie Stephens.

“It’s been a good experience. I’ve enjoyed my time here and it’s been good getting games under my belt. That’s why I came here.

“It was hard to get in at MK so this was a good opportunity for me.

“There’s been some good and some bad points but overall and it’s been a big positive for me looking ahead to next season.

“I don’t think I’ve done as well as I could have but I’ve gained more experience,” he added.

“As a goalkeeper it’s about practice and getting your eye in and that’s why I came on loan. Playing games has definitely helped me improve my decision making and I’m grateful to Newport for that.”

McLoughlin joined a struggling team when he arrived in March but he’s seen enough to support his belief that County can enjoy more success next season.

“Obviously when I came in they were struggling,” said the Dublin-born stopper.

“They hadn’t won for a number of games and were on a bad run.

“But when Darcy Blake and Kevin Feely came in we improved and it’s been good to have a bit of solidity at the back. I’m sure they’ll be fine for next season.”

Ahead of this afternoon’s clash with potential League Two champions Rochdale, McLoughlin says the Exiles will focus on themselves rather than the visitors’ promotion party.

“We want to win our final game and if that means we stop Rochdale winning the league then so be it,” he said. “We’re not bothered about them; we’re just concentrating on finishing the season well.”

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