Birmingham City goalkeeper Matija Sarkic has revealed the reasoning behind why he decided to make the move to St Andrew’s earlier this summer.
The shot-stopper joined the Blues on a season-long loan deal from Wolverhampton Wanderers after featuring for the club in several pre-season friendlies.
Sarkic marked his competitive debut for Birmingham with a clean-sheet in their clash with Sheffield United last month and has since gone on to produce several impressive performances for his side.
Whilst team-mate Neil Etheridge is now fit enough to feature for the Blues, he is currently being kept out of the side by Sarkic.
With four clean-sheets to his name, the 24-year-old will be determined to push on in the coming months by helping Birmingham achieve a relative amount of success in the Championship.
Set to take on Fulham tomorrow evening, Sarkic is likely to feature once again for the Blues who will leapfrog their opponents in the second-tier standings by sealing all three points in this fixture.
Making reference to his move to Birmingham, Sarkic has revealed that he simply couldn’t turn down the opportunity to feature at this level for the club as he backed himself to become a regular in this division.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail about his switch, the Montenegro international said: “When it came up that Birmingham were interested in me I couldn’t say no because I know what I can do.
“So I backed myself and hopefully I’ll keep playing well and help the team.
“As a goalkeeper you are always going to make mistakes.
“We’re always under pressure.
“It’s how you deal with them and bounce back from them.
“The saying is: ‘Better in pre-season than during the season,’ so yeah I saw it as a challenge.
“Sure I got criticism for mistakes but my attitude was how can I turn that into a positive, like I’ve just done.
“Perform well, keep some clean sheets, and it can all change.
“It’s part of the journey, not playing, being patient, working hard – especially as a goalkeeper because there is only one starting spot.
“I’ve had to bide my time and take the opportunity when it comes, like I’ve done.”
When you consider that Sarkic was not guaranteed regular first-team football at Wolves this season, it was hardly a surprise when he made the move to Birmingham.
However, the keeper would have been under no illusion about how difficult it would be to claim a spot in the Blues’ starting eleven due to the presence of Etheridge.
Whilst Etheridge possesses a wealth of experience at this level, Sarkic has yet to put a foot wrong in a Birmingham shirt.
If he can continue to produce some eye-catching displays for the Blues, he may emerge as a crucial player for the club in the coming months as they attempt to reach new heights in the Championship.