ROB GREEN spoke of his determination to add another promotion to his distinguished record after bringing up his 600th league appearance in Leeds United’s goalless draw with Queens Park Rangers.
The England international helped Leeds through a disappointing performance to register his 12th clean sheet of the season and emphasise his durability more than two decades after turning professional with Norwich City.
I’ve been there and seen it and ability-wise this is as hard-working a group as I’ve been with.Leeds United goalkeeper, Rob Green
Leeds struggled to create opportunities against an in-form QPR side and were grateful to Green for denying the club he left last summer with a one-on-one save from striker Conor Washington.
Green, who has already won promotion to the Premier League three times in his career, is the most experienced member of Garry Monk’s squad and said he was working to make his team-mates “understand how good they can be” with Leeds nine games away from the Championship play-offs.
“I feel like I’m determined to be part of something special,” Green said. “I think it’s now about conveying that to the lads and getting them to understand it and believe it – to understand how good they can be and how good they will be.
“It’s something they don’t realise because they’ve never done it. I’ve been there and seen it and ability-wise this is as hard-working a group as I’ve been with. Sometimes it’s about the players understanding that themselves and taking that confidence into games. It can make a difference.”
Green admitted his 600th league outing had been a low-key affair but said he had no desire to start winding down his career at the age of 37.
“I feel good, I feel fit and I want to carry on playing,” he said. “That’s why I came here. I want to play games. I don’t want to sit around and chill out for the rest of my career, picking up easy money doing not a lot. I want to be part of something interesting and exciting. This is proving to be that.
“If we’d just sneaked a goal at the end it would have been a better way (to mark his 600th league appearance) but it was a tough game.
“Somebody asked me what my first game was and it was a boring 0-0 draw in the East Anglian derby.
“It’s an occupational hazard that you end up playing in games like this but these things happen.”
Green denied Washington on 14 minutes when the striker – a team-mate of Green’s at Loftus Road last season – burst onto a pass from midfielder Massimo Luongo and drove a shot against the keeper’s legs.
“It was pleasing that it was Conor coming through,” Green joked. “I had a short period of time with him at QPR and naturally with him as a forward and me as a keeper we were having a bit of banter. He’s a good lad and he’s a threat.
“In games like this chances are at a premium. It was a tough game and at 1-0 down it would have been even tougher. The opposition set up to nullify us and it was difficult to come up with answers. The lads, for all the best will in the world, were trying and couldn’t do that. But if you can’t score, don’t lose.”