Wojciech Szczesny insists he will be ready when more first-team opportunities come his way.

The Polish stopper made only his second senior start in the 4-0 Carling Cup win against Newcastle and after a understandably nervy start made a number of impressive saves on his way to keeping a clean sheet.

The 20-year-old admits it has been a frustrating period waiting for his chance because goalkeepers can only prove themselves in one environment – on the pitch. For this reason he knows he has to take advantage of any break that comes his way and he intends to do just that.

“I have to make sure that, when I do get to play, I’m at my very best,” he said. “I feel sharp and ready for whatever comes. It’s the matches that, in the end, show whether you’re good enough.

“I wasn’t quite there against Newcastle, there were obviously a couple of decisions I could have done better on, but I’ll put that down to inexperience and overall I think I’ve shown what I’m capable of.

“The match against Newcastle was a chance to prove myself to the boss, the fans and my team-mates as well. You don’t get to see goalkeepers in training, we have to play games. I’m really happy I finally got that chance.

“There’s a big difference between being on the bench and on the pitch – unless you’re actually playing people don’t really know what you’re about.”

This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.

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2 Nov 2010