Sport Soccer

Friday 30 September 2016

Watford goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis keen to impress against England

Published 11/10/2015 | 16:51

Giedrius Arlauskis moved to promoted Watford in June
Giedrius Arlauskis moved to promoted Watford in June

Watford's back-up goalkeeper will be the man looking to prevent England entering the record books in Lithuania - an opportunity Giedrius Arlauskis hopes will boost his Premier League prospects.

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Roy Hodgson's men have bounced back impressively from their disastrous World Cup showing and were the first nation to qualify for next summer's European Championship.

In addition, the Three Lions can write their name into the record books on Monday if they end Group E with victory in Lithuania as they have never reached a major tournament with a 100 per cent record.

The hosts are ranked 116th in the world and goalkeeper Arlauskis knows better than most what a tough ask awaits, having joined Watford from Steaua Bucharest in the summer.

The 27-year-old's only competitive appearance to date came in the Hornets' Capital One Cup loss at Preston, making this a good opportunity to underline his qualities.

"I am very happy - it is a really good team, a new team," Arlauskis said of the move to Vicarage Road. "I am in the strongest league in the world, that is not only my opinion.

"I am left out of the team and I am doing my best to get in the starting line-up, but of course it is not easy for a Lithuanian player to just come in and get in the starting line-up.

"I need some time for that but I am really happy at the club.

"Of course it is a motivation for me to play against England because the English fans and the Watford fans have not seen me play much so far.

"It is a double motivation to prove that, but on the other hand it is not that I am just going to prove anything to anybody.

"The club coach knows me, the national coaches know me. I am going to play to just help my team first of all."

Arlauskis was in jovial mood at the start of the pre-match press conference, welcoming English journalists to this "basketball country", but the mood soon turned.

The goalkeeper reacted angrily to local journalists' questions about the Lithuanian Football Federation and its selection policies.

"We don't need to translate," Arlauskis said, before having a slanging match with a reporter as he left the press conference.

"It is about what is happening inside - shame on our journalists.

"We have a nice country, nice football, professional people, just it is not for you guys (in the English media). It is for our journalists."

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