Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Robert Sanchez will be looking to continue both his and Forest Green Rovers’ unbeaten start to the league season when his loan side travel to Northampton Town this afternoon.
Mark Cooper’s men are the only EFL side yet to taste defeat after their first 11 Sky Bet League Two matches, and the on-loan shot-stopper spoke glowingly about his time with the team so far.
He said, “The team is doing well, and the record shows we’ve made a strong start to the season. I feel like I could have kept more clean sheets in that time too, but it’s been everything I expected.
“The manager told us all at the start of the season about the standards by which he expects us to play, and we’ve kept to that so far.
“The team keeps improving on and off the field and that shows with our good run of form.”
Sanchez was a key part of Albion's under-23 side that won promotion via the play-offs to Premier League 2 Division 1 last term, and he discussed the differences in the game since making the step into senior football – including a unique aspect of the game involving his new side.
“The senior dressing room doesn’t differ too much from academy football on the training field because everyone knows what they have to do throughout the week at any level – the matches themselves though are very different.
“There is more pressure, and one thing we work on a lot throughout the week is set-pieces because they’re key at that level.
“When the games come around, you have the crowd very close to you and they’ll be shouting most of the game, then it’s up to you to deal with that – it’s great and I really enjoy that side.
“It’s the sort of thing that I laugh at, personally. It has to be something that spurs you on – but the pressure comes from the manager and coach, not the fans shouting at you from behind a goal.
“It’s a unique meat-free diet at the club and it’s very different – I’d never seen it before I arrived.
“But it’s something the chairman does and sometimes it’s good to be different. We have protein shakes and bars in the pre-match meals and after training, because those are important."
The Spaniard’s first loan spell away from the Seagulls has begun successfully, and he emphasised the close communication that remains between the New Lawn and the Amex Stadium.
“Going back out on loan has worked well for Christian [Walton] at Wigan Athletic, but you never know what will happen that far ahead in the future.
“The way Forest Green are playing at the moment, we feel like we can get promotion, so an opportunity to play in Sky Bet League One would be massive for myself – you have to aim high.
“But those decisions will only be made if myself and the coaches at the two clubs are happy.
“I speak with Ben Roberts every day, he’s the best coach I’ve worked with. We have a great group at Brighton and it’s one big family. We speak about anything, it doesn’t have to be about football – you can speak to them about whatever is happening in your life and they’ll help you.”