ASMIR BEGOVIC believes that Stoke City can look forward to exciting times this season . . . after they made it four draws from as many Barclays Premier League games in the meeting with champions Manchester City.
The giant Bosnian hailed the point against Roberto Mancini’s side as an excellent result after he pulled off two outstanding second half saves to deny Yaya Toure and Javi Garcia to ensure that the Potters claimed a 1-1 draw.
Begovic was just one of City’s heroes on an occasion when record signing Peter Crouch scored for a third game in a row to put his side in front, only for Manchester City debutant Garcia to level things up before half time.
Although the Potters are still looking for their first League win of the season and face three tough away matches in the next month at Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, the ‘keeper remains upbeat about their prospects.
And he was particularly impressed with the impact made by new signings Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi on their home debuts for the Club.
“I thought we were absolutely superb against the champions, and were fully deserving of the point we earned,” he told stokecityfc.com.
“We were maybe slightly fortunate at the end, but I think we had done enough to deserve that little bit of luck. We had chances at the other end as well, and on another day we could quite easily have nicked it.
“For the new lads to come in today and play the way they did was a huge bonus for us. Charlie made a difference at Wigan, and I thought Steven looked top class today.”
He added: “You look at the squad we have here now and it is very exciting times for the Football Club. We are unbeaten in four, having played two of the best teams in the world, so I think we are capable of enjoying a very good season.”
Begovic again displayed why he is widely regarded as one of the top-flight’s best goalkeepers with another excellent display for the Potters capped by a late world class save to deny Garcia of his second goal of the afternoon.
However, he says that huge credit must also go to skipper Ryan Shawcross after he miraculously cleared a goal-bound effort off the line in stoppage time, to deny his Bosninan international teammate would have been a cruel winner.
“It was a great clearance from Ryan right at the end to be fair to him,” he smiled. “As soon as the ball went over me I just thought to myself ‘oh god it’s in’, and prayed for somebody to get back and hook it clear.”
Begovic added: “It was a dry pitch out there, so Ryan did remarkably well to get back and clear it away in the manner that he did. He was great again today, but so was every other player who featured today.
“Like I say, we deserved that result, and we can go to Chelsea in a week’s time knowing that we are capable of mixing it against that sort of team.”