Barry Roche: I’m just happy to be back playing football

Barry Roche saves Kemar Roofe's penalty at Oxford on Saturday.
Barry Roche saves Kemar Roofe's penalty at Oxford on Saturday.
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Barry Roche admits he is simply content to be back playing football.

The Shrimps stopper has been in fine fettle this season having missed the majority of last year after hip surgery - the first major injury of his career.

His excellent start to the new campaign culminated in a penalty save that helped Morecambe to a 0-0 draw at Oxford Untied on Saturday.

The popular Irishman said: “I feel great, there’s absolutely no problem.

“But I was very concerned.

“The surgeon scared the living daylights out of me when he told me the percentage of people that do make a full comeback.

“Thanks to a lot of lonely hours in the gym with (fitness coach) Chris Squirrell, I’ve got back and I’m just happy to keep playing football.”

The penalty save from Kemar Roofe midway through the second half at the Kassam Stadium came after some DVD work with The Shrimps’ digital media manager Matt Rushton on the morning of the match.

Roche said: “It (the penalty save) is pleasing.

“I’ve got Matt Rushton our media man to thank for that.

“He comes forward every Friday or Saturday with footage of the penalty takers from the opposition that weekend.

“We studied it on Saturday morning and thankfully got it right.”

The hard-fought draw at Oxford was a marked improvement on the 4-2 defeat at Northampton with Roche hoping The Shrimps can show the same kind of resolve against Luton at the Globe Arena on Tuesday night.

The number one said: “It was important after last week to show a good reaction.

“We conceded four which was disappointing and we worked very hard this week on our team shape, especially defensively, and I think that showed.

“We needed to make sure we did our job at the back to let the attacking boys do their bit.

“With the quality we have going forwards we’ve got goals in us but our focus was getting a clean sheet.

“It was a very good point against a side that will be there or thereabouts.

“Now we’ve got to carry on where we left off on Saturday in front of our own fans and see if we can get a run going.”