Mowbray pushes Carson's England claims after West Brom win
Middlesbrough 0 West Bromwich 1
Among footballers, no breed is tougher, yet for all of that we always assume that a goalkeeper who makes a high-profile mistake will be haunted by it, his confidence on the field likely to disintegrate at any moment amid cruel taunts and pitying glances.
That is how it has been for Scott Carson since that game against Croatia last November and it is clearly becoming a little tiresome. "People keep dragging it up, asking if I am I suffering from an England hangover but it was nine months ago and I'd like people to let it go," he said. "I let it go the night after."
Indeed, there is no indication that Carson goes about his business with anything other than untarnished self-belief and, after watching his summer signing from Liverpool keep out all of Middlesbrough's attempts to deny Albion at the Riverside on Saturday, the West Bromwich Albion manager, Tony Mowbray, expects that the resumption of his international career is only a matter of time.
"He had one bad game," Mowbray said. "To get to be the England goalkeeper you have to be outstanding and I knew that whatever happened against Croatia he must have been some goalkeeper to be in that position in the first place. That's why we bought him.
"His ability will get him back into the England team, if that is where his ambitions are."
Some might have questioned Carson's decision to join a promoted team, one that by the nature of promoted teams these days would be likely to face a struggle to stay up, but after leading something of a nomadic existence as Liverpool repeatedly sent him out on loan, the 23-year-old Cumbrian reckons that he is in the right place.
"For the last five years I've been up and down the country and I just wanted to be settled," he said. "Now I feel I am. I got married in the summer to Amy, who is from the next village to me. We've got a house and our little boy, Hayden, who is two and a half, has just started at nursery.
"And in the dressing room I've settled in pretty much straight away. The players involved me in the banter right from the start and I feel one of the lads.
"To be honest, I'm not really thinking about England. My priority is playing well for West Brom and if England come knocking that means I must be doing something right."
Carson did plenty right on Saturday, keeping out at least half a dozen attempts from Middlesbrough's Mido, Alfonso Alves, Gary O'Neil and David Wheater to ensure that a scrambled goal by the Swedish centre-back Jason Olsson early in the second half would be enough to secure a first away win for Albion in the Premier League.
"A lot of keepers playing against us are getting man of the match and that just sums up our luck," a frustrated O'Neil said, when reflecting on a fourth consecutive defeat for Middlesbrough. "Craig Gordon had a fantastic game for Sunderland against us last week.
"But we are playing quite well and we have to try not to get too down about it. We just need to start punishing teams when we are on top," O'Neil insisted.
Goal: Olsson (53) 0-1.
Middlesbrough (4-4-2): Turnbull; Hoyte, Huth, Wheater, Taylor; Aliadière (Adam Johnson, 60), O'Neil, Shawky (Digard, 60), Downing; Alves, Mido. Substitutes not used: Jones (gk), Riggott, Emnes, Bennett, Walker.
West Bromwich Albion (4-4-1-1): Carson; Zuiverloon, Donk, Olsson, Robinson; Borja Valero, Koren, Greening, Kim (MacDonald, 4; Miller, h-t); Morrison (Cech, 76); Bednar. Substitutes not used: Kiely (gk), Barnett, Moore, Pele.
Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).
Booked: Middlesbrough Taylor, Mido; West Bromwich Albion Greening, MacDonald, Olsson, Bednar.
Man of the match: Carton.