Tom Heaton insists he is ready and willing should he be called upon to keep goal for the Reds this season.
The 21-year-old Reserves stopper has made the bench on a handful of occasions over the last year or so, but is yet to make a competitive first team appearance for the Reds.
A long term injury to Ben Foster has pushed Heaton up the goalkeeping pecking order and he remains hopeful of making his mark in the first team during the coming campaign.
"As a goalkeeper you have to be patient, everyone keeps telling me that anyway!" he told Inside United. "It can be difficult at times because once you’ve had a taste of things all you want to do is play.
"Ideally I would have liked to have gone out on loan to get some more experience, but the situation with Ben [Foster] being injured has given me a chance with the first team which is fantastic.
"It’s a pleasure to be working with the first team and I’m just focused on keeping my head down and working hard."
Heaton was part of the Reds' squad which toured Asia in July and was handed his chance in the team's final match in China.
"Travelling with the team to Asia was a fantastic experience for me personally and I think we’ve all benefited from the training we did out there," he insisted. "I managed to get 45 minutes under my belt in the final game of the tour which was pleasing.
"I want to improve all aspects of my game," he added. "Training with the first team is a big factor because it brings you on leaps and bounds.
"We’ll just have to see what comes up for me this season - hopefully I might get an opportunity somewhere along the line." Read more...