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Cherries: Shwan stakes his claim for first-team recall
SHWAN Jalal hopes he has landed a meaningful blow in the Cherries goalkeeping duel and insists: “I am giving it my all.”
Jalal is vowing to pull out all the stops in his attempts to depose legendary number one David James as the club’s regular stopper.
The 29-year-old says he is enjoying working alongside the former England star – but is determined to reclaim his starting spot.
Boss Eddie Howe must choose between the duo when Cherries host Shrewsbury Town at Goldsands Stadium tonight (7.45pm).
Manager Howe handed Jalal his first start since the 4-0 defeat at Swindon on September 22 when he picked him for the FA Cup first round victory over Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.
Ex-Premier League veteran James had featured in the previous seven league matches after signing a deal with Cherries until the end of the season.
Howe said James had been “rested” for the Daggers clash and he will now decide whether to recall the 42-year-old or keep faith with Jalal.
Jalal told the Daily Echo: “It was up to me to go out there and try to prove what I am about. I didn’t have that much to do but what I had to do, I felt I did it competently.
“I think I had missed seven games so it is a bit of a transition and hard to take. But you roll with the punches and then just have to take your chance whenever you are given it and, hopefully, I have done that.
“There was zero next to Dagenham so, partly for me, I felt like I did my job.
“The big thing for me was the fact that my last game was behind a defence – including myself – that was low on confidence and I think a team that was low on confidence.
“To come back in, it felt like playing behind a team of reinvigorated individuals and it was so pleasing to see everybody battling for each other. It was really fantastic.”
Jalal was a star performer during Howe’s first spell in the Dean Court hot-seat.
“I have worked under the manager before and I know what he expects and I know the standards that he expects and sets,” said Jalal.
“All I can do is try to give 100 per cent every day. I am giving it my all. It is fantastic to be injury free and enjoying my training and to be part of a group of lads, at the minute, who are gelling together really well and enjoying training. That is all you can ask for.”
Jalal also revealed that he was learning from his rival for the number one jersey and enjoying training alongside James, who has earned 53 England caps during his distinguished career.
Jalal added: “He has been great to work with, to be quite honest. You can only soak up the experience that he brings.
“We are close-knit, the goalkeeping group, and Jamo has fitted in absolutely perfectly.”