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Goalkeeper looking to impress at Ross County while on loan from Fulham

By Will Clark

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Picture - Ken Macpherson. See story. Ross County 'keeper George Wickens - new signing from Fulham.
Picture - Ken Macpherson. See story. Ross County 'keeper George Wickens - new signing from Fulham.

GOALKEEPER George Wickens says he is determined to take his opportunity of playing first team football while on loan at Ross County.

The 22-year-old arrived in Dingwall during the January transfer window from Fulham on a loan deal until the end of the season.

He played for Ross County in the 1-0 defeat against Celtic last Saturday and kept his place in the starting line-up in the 2-2 draw at Livingston on Tuesday.

Wickens says he is relishing the chance of playing in the Scottish Premiership while on loan with the Staggies, who face St Johnstone at the Global Energy Stadium tomorrow.

He says he was having a frustrating time at Fulham, but is determined to take his chance while on loan at the Staggies.

“Over the last 18 months I haven’t played an awful lot of football, for reasons at Fulham, which has been frustrating,” said Wickens.

“I only played a handful of games for Fulham’s under-21s this season – maybe three or four.

“It was obviously tough coming here. One of the big things for a goalkeeper to build confidence is playing games.

“When I was playing once on average every three or four weeks, it was hard to build that.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to come up here and get an opportunity. I’m just taking each game as it comes, and getting in the right sort of mindset for the games.”

Wickens is one of seven loan players at Ross County who have all been in the starting line up in the matches against Celtic and Livingston. He was one of six players who arrived during the January transfer window.

He arrived along with Brendon Khela from Birmingham City in addition to Cameron Borthwick-Jackson from Slask Wroclaw, Loick Ayina from Huddersfield Town, Eli King from Cardiff City and Teddy Jenks from Forest Green Rovers were also brought to Dingwall during the window last month.

They arrived with Will Nightingale from Wimbledon who came in on loan at the start of the campaign when Malky Mackay was still in charge of the club.

Wickens says with players coming from outside Scotland, it has been a chance to bond more and form a good team spirit.

He said: “I know that we are so far away from everyone in terms geographically, but everyone is in the same boat. Lads don’t have families up here, so you become a close knit group as a result because the amount of time you spend together.”

Wickens saved two penalties against Celtic last Saturday and said it was an honour to play on the same pitch as one of his heroes, Joe Hart.

He said: “Growing up Joe Hart was my idol in terms of watching him for England. I watched a number of YouTube clips on him, trying to base quite a lot of my game off him. To share the same pitch as him was a bit surreal.”

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