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Blankety blank is music to the ears of Cambridge United’s goalkeepers’ union

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Dimi Mitov in action for Cambridge United against MK Dons. Picture: Ben Phillips (58427414)
Dimi Mitov in action for Cambridge United against MK Dons. Picture: Ben Phillips (58427414)

Dimi Mitov has praised the collective defensive effort of Cambridge United in their first two games of the season.

They have started the campaign with two 1-0 wins - against MK Dons in League One and Millwall in the Carabao Cup - and have limited their opposition to a handful of chances.

Mitov played in the win over MK Dons and did not have a save to make, after the visitors had hit the bar in the first 20 seconds.

“I was saying to Lloydy (Lloyd Jones) and Jibs (Jubril Okedina), as a joke, for once you boys have done your jobs,” said the 25-year-old.

“They’ve been really good, and when MK Dons hit the bar in the first 20 seconds you thought, ‘is it going to be one of those days where we’re just going to be under pressure all game?’.

“We didn’t have much of the ball, but I didn’t have to make any saves, and I was just standing there at one point thinking I feel sorry for the boys for how much running they have to do!

“It’s part of the game and hopefully we will have many more games like that, where I have nothing to do.”

Mitov found it difficult to recall a quieter first game of the season.

“Not really, but I like it,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I would like to have many more of them because it’s really good to see because the boys have been so brilliant and that’s just credit to them.

“At the top level, you see the keepers where they don’t have much to do and you need to make that one big save. I’ve always said the best goalkeepers are the ones where they have nothing else to do all game but they make those saves when the team needs them the most.

“Obviously, you have to be 100 per cent focused for the game, you don’t have to start thinking about other stuff because when that shot comes in you’d better save it.”

Mitov handed over the first-team gloves to Will Mannion for the cup clash against Championship side Millwall, and he made a couple of top-notch saves but was, on the main, also not too busy.

“He has done really well,” said Mitov. “The goalie union we have at the moment, with me, Will and James (Holden) has been really good - it’s been probably one of the best unions since I’ve been at the club.

“We work together, we work really hard and whoever plays we support each other. I’m really glad for him because he has done really well, made a match-winning save and that’s why we train.

“You’re fighting for the same shirt, doing your best in training and the manager needs to pick only one - we always looked at it that way, whoever plays we support each other and that’s the main thing.”

It has meant clean sheets in the first two games of the campaign, which is an ideal start for any goalkeeper.

“It’s a really good place to be, but I think the boys in front of us have done really well because, when you think about it, we didn’t have much to do, which is always a good sign,” Mitov added.

“It shows the team is playing really well, and hopefully there will be many more of them to come.”

Read more:

Sam Smith among players set for fitness tests ahead of Cambridge United’s trip to Oxford United in League One

Mark Bonner salutes a brilliant night for Cambridge United with victory against Millwall in Carabao Cup

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