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Brad's Pride

Brad Friedel spoke of his pride after recording a 25-year best 14 clean sheets in the league last season - but, typically, was quick to divert the praise to the team around him.

The goalkeeper was an ever-present in the Premier League and made it 14 clean sheets with an excellent display against Fulham on the final day of the season.

That is the best clean sheet total since David Pleat's fine team of 1986-87.

Ray Clemence kept 19 clean sheets as we finished third in the old First Division, lost in the final of the FA Cup and semi-finals of the League Cup.

"A good defensive record is always the base for a successful team," said Brad, who stretched his record of consecutive starts in the Premier League to 304 last season.

"Clean sheets are a cumulative effort, it's not just the work of one person.

"In some games, like Blackburn, I kept a clean sheet without having to touch the ball.

"As a goalkeeper, obviously you always go out and try not to concede goals so if you keep a clean sheet, you feel like you've done your job.

"But I would much rather win the game 2-1 and get the three points than draw 0-0 and just get one.

"Every goalkeeper is pleased when they record a clean sheet. I had no idea that 14 was the best at the club for 25 years but what I will say is that I hope we can better it next season."