"Attitude is everything. Talent is not enough. It’s a mental game."
Emi Martinez has always believed he would get his chance to establish himself as our No 1 - and as he prepares to play in his first FA Cup final, he feels that self-belief has been rewarded at last.
"You have to deal with frustration when you don’t play, you have to deal with the pressure. There are no excuses," he said. "A second-choice goalkeeper can sometimes say, ‘Oh, it’s a lack of games, it’s different when you train compared to when you play’ but there is no excuse if you do everything right.
"My wife was saying to me in lockdown: ‘Why do you train so much?’ Because I thought I might have my chance, I might do it. And look, I have it. After two games I was already fitter than when I left.
"So when Bernd got injured at Brighton, if you see straight after that I had to make a lot of saves, and I made it look easy because I was confident I had done the right thing to prepare for each game.
"I have got a full-size goal in my garden," he added. "As soon as [lockdown] happened, the fitness coaches sent us a programme. We had a bike from a club to do training, obviously we could not go out anywhere.
"I had plenty of space. I had weights, a mini-gym outside. I was doing proper goalkeeper training. Normally as a keeper when you start training, if you have not been diving or hitting the ground for a long time, you might have bruises on your bones. That is something I have been doing since the lockdown so when I came back with the team I was feeling great."
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