Steven Benda delighted to make the most of starting opportunity
Steven Benda was delighted to have made the most of his opportunity after claiming a clean sheet in Swansea City’s 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers.
The German keeper was handed a first league start in nearly 13 months against the Hoops, and produced an assured performance to help Russell Martin’s side claim a first home victory of the season.
He made an excellent save to deny Tyler Roberts during the closing stages, while he also denied Ilias Chair and Lyndon Dykes.
And, having had to be patient and wait for his chance, the 23-year-old was happy to have played his part.
“Yeah it is a really good feeling, to be fair,” he said.
“It has been a long time for me, so it was great to get the three points and a clean sheet.
“I have worked really hard and I have tried to stay ready and I am just glad to help the team.
“As a goalkeeper it is difficult because only one can play and it’s not like other positions where you have the chance to come on.
“But, for me, personally I am always working hard. I am always in the gym doing extras, but it is a case of being patient.
“The mood in the dressing room is great, the boys are buzzing. That win at home has been a long time coming.
“But we have worked so hard and it is a good feeling. It was a difficult game but we dug deep and we need to take that into the next games.”
And head coach Russell Martin also praised the keeper’s performance, and the manner in which he has continued to work professionally and keep himself in the best possible condition while waiting for his chance.
“I’m delighted for Steve. There’s a thing about goalkeepers that everyone thinks you need a number one and two. It’s the same as any other position on the pitch as far as we are concerned, form is going to dip at times,” he said.
“There's going to be moments where you're going to feel you need a certain player in a certain position. We felt Steven deserved an opportunity really.
“He’s trained so hard. Andy Fisher has done great since he’s been here, but he’s been in the whole time. He’s still getting used to the rigors of the Championship and I just felt it was time for Steven to have a chance.
“It’s just gut instinct sometimes, you have to trust it. He’s an absolute machine physically and mentally. His professionalism is incredible. I’m really pleased for him.
“He’s another one that has matured a lot in the last year where he’s reacted to not being number one. The way he reacted is very different to the way he acted when coming out of the team last season.
“He’s grown a lot and deserves his opportunity. I thought he was brilliant. He had one save to make really and it was an exceptional save in the first half.
“That’s the moments he’s been called in for and took pressure off the team.”