Ward ‘feels nearer’ to taking Liverpool No.1 spot from Mignolet

Ian Watson
Danny Ward: Goalkeeper impressed at Aberdeen

Danny Ward: Wants to make an impact at Liverpool

Danny Ward believes his loan spell at Aberdeen has placed him in a good position to eventually oust Simon Mignolet at Liverpool.

Ward will win his first Wales cap against Northern Ireland on Thursday as manager Chris Coleman wants to give the Liverpool understudy game-time before Euro 2016 this summer.

And the 22-year-old, who had a successful loan spell at Aberdeen earlier this season, feels he has matured enough to push for a first-team place on Merseyside.

“My ambition on the club front is to be Liverpool’s number one and I will keep trying to do that as long as they want me at the club,” said Ward.

“Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.

“Competition is healthy, I am at a great club and I want to make an impact there.”

Coleman could hand Ward and Inverness goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams 45 minutes each against fellow Euro 2016 finalists Northern Ireland, with regular number one Wayne Hennessey rested before Monday’s trip to the Ukraine.

But, whether he plays 45 or 90 minutes at the Cardiff City Stadium, Ward is determined to take his chance.

“I am working towards something special with Wales,” said Ward.

“There is a major tournament I want to be involved in at the end of the season and if I get my chance I have to make the most of it.

“You cannot take it for granted, because until you are on that pitch it is not done and you are not a capped international.

“But to get your first senior cap would be a proud moment for me and my family.”

Wrexham-born Ward has yet to make a senior Liverpool appearance, but he has been almost an ever-present on the Reds’ bench since he was recalled from Aberdeen in January.

And Ward would even end the season with a medal if Aberdeen were to beat Celtic to the Scottish Premiership title, having played 21 league games for the Dons.

“I really enjoyed myself up there and if they win it I get an SPL winner’s medal – and that would not be too bad to take home,” said Ward.

“The loan spell was something Liverpool and myself felt was needed as I had not played much first-team football coming into this season.

“It went really well and it was a bit bitter-sweet coming back as we were fighting for the league and I was playing week-in week-out.

“Getting called back is a bit of a different challenge than being a number one.

“You have to work harder in training and push the man ahead of you because you want his jersey.

“I feel I am nearer that number one spot now.

“It gives you the experience of pressure situations that you cannot get in training.

“You mature in good games and hopefully it will stand me in good stead.

“Winning my first cap will help in that regard too. But I do not want to settle for one, I want to get as many as I possibly can.”