Stand-in keeper Legzdins gets clean sheet to maintain his Rams record
GOALKEEPER Adam Legzdins made his first appearance of the season against Brighton & Hove Albion – and maintained his unbeaten record in a Derby County shirt.
The 25-year-old replaced Frank Fielding, who suffered a groin injury late in the game at Middlesbrough last Wednesday, and helped the Rams pick up their first home clean sheet of the season as they held the Seagulls to a goalless draw.
Legzdins has been Fielding's understudy since arriving at Pride Park from Burton Albion in the summer of 2011 but has not been on the losing side in his five first-team outings so far.
He famously helped 10-man Derby to a memorable 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest last season and kept a clean sheet in a 3-0 victory over Millwall in the next game, when Fielding was suspended.
Legzdins replaced the injured Fielding at half-time in the penultimate game of 2011-12 as the Rams won 2-1 at Portsmouth and was between the sticks as Nigel Clough's men brought the curtain down on their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Peterborough United.
"Me and Frank get on well and he told me that he felt his groin towards the end of the Middlesbrough game," said Legzdins.
"So I had a good idea on the way home from Middlesbrough that I would be playing.
"It doesn't change anything for me, though. I train and work exactly the same whether I'm in the team or not.
"That can be frustrating at times but that's the way I am and I can't help that.
"But it benefits you when you do get thrown in and I think my record is good when I have played.
"I have been able to get back into the swing of things easily, which is not easy for a goalkeeper to do when you're not playing.
"When I found out I was playing, I was looking forward to it and it's nice to have those butterflies in your stomach on a Saturday morning.
"That's what you want as a footballer."
Legzdins helped the Rams earn a point by tipping Richard Keogh's inadvertent 72nd-minute header towards his own goal against the crossbar.
"As a goalkeeper, you always want to keep a clean sheet," he said.
"I think Frank and the back four who had been playing have deserved more of them and could have had more had it not been for a few unlucky deflections and the odd screamer.
"So it was just lucky for me that I was there today and that we limited them to only a few chances.
"It was a good team effort from everyone and I didn't have much to do, to be honest.
"I think the key against a team like Brighton is organisation. When they keep the ball for long periods of time, it's about keeping our concentration as a unit and talking to each other.
"When they do break, they can hurt you but I thought we looked a solid unit out there."
Brighton had won their previous three away games and, until recently, topped the Championship.
They remain among the play-off positions and Gus Poyet's side have earned plaudits for their passing style of play.
"They're a good team and we knew we were up against it," said Legzdins.
"They like to play the way we do, so there weren't too many balls hoofed up the field.
"It was a good example of a good game in the Championship.
"They're a tough team to play against but I think we acquitted ourselves well."
Whether Fielding will be fit in time for Derby's next game – against his former club Blackburn Rovers a week on Saturday – remains to be seen.
Legzdins added: "A lot can happen between now and then, so we'll have to wait and see.
"I'm just glad I've managed to do myself justice and be part of a team that has worked really hard for a great point against a very good team."