The Lee Camp interview

Last updated : 27 August 2004 By The Rambler

DerbyMad: There can be no doubt that a loan spell at Queens Park Rangers did you no harm at all.

Lee Camp: It was a good spell at Rangers and obviously the next step was to push on at Derby. I played 12 games at the end of last season for them and came back on a high. I felt very sharp during all the pre-season games. I got a chance for the start of the league season and up to now I’ve done ok.

DM: Lee Grant and you used to be mutually supportive. Has that relationship changed at all since you got the number one jersey?

LC: Not at all. We are still very good friends. We socialize off the pitch. We have many interests and just because I am playing now. The friendship and the professionalism has not changed in the slightest.

DM: I understand that you have a very strict training regime, very similar to Mart Poom in some ways.

LC: Very similar in all honesty to Mart who I looked up to as a youngster. And I saw the benefits of the training that he was doing. I wouldn’t say my regime is as strict as his was as he was like a machine. I train hard, and I work, and I put the hours in. I feel that if you put in the hours during the week then Saturday becomes easier.

DM: Has the manager given you a certain number of games to establish yourself or are you in till you make a complete mess of things?

LC: That’s a good question. I’m not worrying about that. I take every game one at a time and if I do all right there is no reason why I can’t keep the shirt.

DM: Let’s talk about penalties as I have seen you save more than one, what is the secret?

LC: I don’t know because I’ve let the last 2 in so I’m not too happy at the minute. The David Connolly one I saw him glance quickly at the place he was going to put it. It went through my mind that he was going to hit it across me. I thought it was going to go high but I gambled and went low. Luckily I made the save. The gamble paid off against Leicester but I gambled and was wrong for the last 2.

DM: 2 games coming up in 3 days. Different styles of football but you have to do the same job in both.

LC: Yes 2 very different games. Crewe are obviously a footballing side. They are very good technically with gifted players. That will probably suit us. Stoke are a strong side which will give us a game similar to the Lincoln one. Hopefully we will have learnt from the last 13 minutes at Lincoln and put it into a 90 minutes performance at Stoke.

DM: Stoke have Adi Akinbiyi up front. He comes in for an awful lot of stick but he will be no pushover will he?

We could have said that before the last time we played there but he scored one past us. He has cost £5million in his career and played in the Premiership. You treat him with respect and as a goalscorer he has got a proven record. He is their main threat and if not looked after right will be a big threat.

DM: You have been called up for the Under 21s for the games against Poland and Austria.

LC: Yes I have just heard that. I was sent a text by the FA telling me I was in. I’m looking forward to it.

DM: Whether you start or on the bench by being called up it is a sign of your increasing status.

LC: It’s a great experience to play for your country. And to see different countries is obviously good for you and your knowledge of the game. In terms of playing I guess Scott Carson is the number one and I would probably go with Andrew Lonnigan being second choice. There is still the opportunity to go there and impress.

DM: However you look at it you are still one of the top three English keepers of a certain age throughout all 92 league clubs.

LC: When you put it that way it is quite scary. I had never thought of it that way. I’m in the squad because I’m playing here. It was Lee Grant last year. And it is that cut throat. It is up to me if I keep producing the goods I will just have to see how far I can go with it.