SIMON Eastwood believes his determination to play every game this season stems from the attitude of former Oxford United teammate Ryan Clarke.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper is still on track to achieve that feat, with Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat against Fleetwood Town his 57th start of the campaign.
Eastwood has been United’s most consistent performer in the club’s first season back in the third tier for 15 years.
And he believes the experience of his first stint at United in 2010/11, when he did not make a single appearance, had an impact.
That season Eastwood was kept out of the team by Clarke, who played in all 50 games.
“It was strange for me when I came to Oxford the first time,” he said.
“I was a young lad coming through and at that age, like Jack (Stevens) is now, all you wanted to do was play a couple of games.
“But at the time, Ryan was playing every game and I said to Browny (Wayne Brown, goalkeeping coach) the other day, I think I kind of got a bit off Clarkey – he wanted to play every single minute of every match.
“It’s hard having so many games and some of them you will be playing through injuries and not 100 per cent, but it’s something he did when he was here and that’s maybe where I’ve got it from.”
Eastwood has been forced to play through the pain barrier since falling heavily against Bolton Wanderers last month.
He has featured in four games with a strained bicep since and is in no mood to relinquish the gloves.
Eastwood said: “During games, I suppose the adrenaline kicks in – at Wembley I didn’t feel a thing.
“I think that’s playing in front of so many people and the occasion.
“But you know your own body and the pain threshold and I’m realistic, I know when it’s right and when it’s not, so until I think otherwise I will keep going.
“I think that’s fair enough.”