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AFC Bournemouth: I'm not here to warm the bench says Stephen Henderson
STEPHEN Henderson has thrown down the gauntlet to Cherries’ team of goalkeepers by insisting he has no plans to warm the bench during his stay at Dean Court.
Henderson, who admits to being impatient, says he wants to establish himself as Cherries’ first-choice and also stake a claim to become the Republic of Ireland’s number one.
The 25-year-old Dubliner this week joined Cherries on a three-month loan deal from West Ham and is in line to make his debut in their Championship clash with Millwall.
Henderson, who helped Ipswich avoid the drop during two fruitful loan spells at Portman Road last season, was drafted in by boss Eddie Howe to help ease the club’s goalkeeper crisis.
Ryan ‘Rocky’ Allsop serves a one-match suspension against the Lions following his red card at Leeds on Tuesday, while Darryl Flahavan is ruled out after sustaining a thigh injury at Elland Road.
Out of favour Shwan Jalal, recalled from a loan spell at Oxford on Wednesday, is set to be on the bench against Millwall, while Benji Buchel has only recently returned from a long-term lay-off.
Henderson told the Daily Echo: “I was happy the move came about because I needed to get some games and there was no better place. I enjoyed the session and seeing how the team plays because they like to play football.
I have been given licence to play from the back so that suits me.
“It was unfortunate for Rocky to get sent off against Leeds and for Flavs to pick up an injury. Even though it was only my first day, I could see the goalkeepers were a close-knit unit. Whatever happens, I never tend to fall out with the competition. If I am playing, I hope they wish me well and vice-versa. It has never been an issue for me.
“It is going to be up to me to stay in the team when Rocky is back because I know he has been doing well and I need to prove I am capable. I have played this level a few times and know what it is about so it is going to be up to me to keep the place.”
Henderson earned a permanent move to West Ham in May 2012 after agreeing to leave Portsmouth to help ease their financial woes. He has yet to feature for the Hammers and has found himself down the pecking order following the signing of Spaniard Adrian to provide competition for Jussi Jaaskelainen.
A close pal of Jack Collison, Henderson, who the Hammers have a 24-hour recall on, added: “It is frustrating but it is one of those things. I needed to get out and West Ham were good enough to let me go. To be honest, I wasn’t sure of the time-scale until I signed the papers but staying until January will suit me fine.
“I haven’t come here to mess about and I have got ambitions. I want to play in the best league possible and I want to be Ireland’s number one. That would be my dream come true and I will do everything I can to get there.
“I have been in the game long enough and I am a realist. Anything is possible if you are playing and you have got no chance if you aren’t.”
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