"When that chance comes, you have to take it..."
Off the back of an astute campaign, which concluded in scooping a hatful of awards, shot stopper Dimitar Mitov is only striving to improve with Cambridge United as the season progresses.
After banking consecutive clean sheets between the U’s number 1 and 25, he said, "It’s a really good place to be. The boys in front of us have done really well too. We need to keep that momentum, keep our foot on the gas. You can’t ask for more from the opening two games, but still there’s more to come from us - this is just the beginning."
He’ll take the games as they come, but the Bulgarian did state he wouldn’t mind encountering another few matchups similar to the season opener.
"We didn’t have much to do which, when you think about it, is always a really good sign. Hopefully there’ll be many more of those to come. Again, we didn’t have much of the ball, but there wasn’t any saves for me to make.
"I was actually standing there at one point thinking ‘I feel sorry for the boys with how much running they had to do,’ but it’s part of the game and as long as the team wins, I’m happy."
Mitov went on to hand an intriguing insight from the perspective between the sticks, determining what separates a good goalkeeper from a world-class one – concentration.
"At the top level, you see the keepers when they don’t have much to do, but then have to make that one big save when their team needs them the most. You have to be 100% focused on the game. When that shot comes in, you better save it."
Dimi was quick to applaud the competition in the squad too, which keeps him on his toes. After originally going through that process when joining the U’s in 2017, he remains understanding and supportive.
"The goalie union we have at the moment of myself, Will (Mannion) and James (Holden) is really good – it’s probably the best I’ve had since I’ve been at the club. We work really hard and we support whoever plays.
"That’s what’s so different from being outfield, only one can play and you’re fighting for your shirt – doing your best in training. When that chance comes, you have to take it."
Examining his counterparts, the protector is conscious a challenge awaits. At the same time, he’s raring to get out on the pitch and build on the defensive impetus garnered.
"They’ll (Oxford) definitely be up there this season, but we expect that. They’ve got some excellent players in their side, but we’ve done well against the big teams. Hopefully we can go there and nick a result.”
Dimi concluded his pre-match presser by expressing his affiliation and love for the club, declaring: "I’m happy here and I don’t know why I wouldn’t be."
Music to the United faithful’s ears.