Turnbull & Jones still mates
Boro keepers remain freinds despite on-pitch rivalry
By Richard Bailey. Last Updated: December 31, 2008 2:04pm
Turnbull: Off field freinds with Jones
Middlesbrough goalkeeper Ross Turnbull is adamant his friendship with team-mate Brad Jones does not affect their battle for the No.1 shirt.
Manager Gareth Southgate backed his two keepers in the summer when he admitted that he was not looking to sign a replacement following Mark Schwarzer's move to Fulham.
Jones had initially looked to have won the battle but a dislocated finger in the warm-up in the second game of the season against Liverpool allowed Turnbull in and the 23-year-old has not looked back since.
Turnbull was impressive as Boro narrowly lost to champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday, making a string of fine saves to keep the score at 1-0.
The current No.1 admits that it is a positive thing to get on with your fellow keeper.
"It's always good to have a good relationship with each other because you have got to help each other," Turnbull stated.
"Whether that situation is at every club, I don't know, but I prefer it the way it is rather than us not speaking to one another, which you have heard in the past has happened before.
"Brad and me are good friends on and off the field and it is just good competition for both of us.
"I have loved every minute of it. I just want to play football and it has been a fantastic experience playing week in week out. It's not easy but I have enjoyed it."
The club's defeat to United means that only goal difference kept them out of the relegation zone.
Despite Boro going eight league games without a win, Turnbull insists that he has enough pressure just making sure he remains first choice.
"There's always pressure, it's the same with every other position in the team," he added.
"Brad's been pushing me hard and I have got to keep performing to stay in the team. It's difficult but if I can keep putting in performances, then I will stay in the team."