Marcus Bettinelli was almost lost for words, practically losing his voice after a remarkable performance in a frenetic match against Huddersfield Town on Saturday where the Whites kept a clean sheet and walked away with three points in the 2-0 victory.
The Under-21 England goalkeeper saved every single one of Huddersfield’s 13 shots on target at the John Smith’s Stadium, including a penalty in the second half from Nahki Wells after Shaun Hutchinson was sent off for handball on the line.
“I don’t even know what to say. I’ve not got much of a voice left,” Bettinelli told fulhamfc.com after the match.
“That sort of felt like a Cup Final for us then. I think you can see how much it meant to all the lads especially when Seko got the second one in. I’ve not seen celebrations like that since I was a little kid.”
On the quality of his own performance, he said: “I think most goalies have one of these games every so often. I made a couple of mistakes and managed to get away with them with a save after that.
“I rode my luck at times as well as the team, but I’m just happy that we got a clean sheet and the three points, that was the main thing.”
The victory comes after a difficult run of results for the Whites and was in complete contrast to Wednesday night's game against Leeds United at Craven Cottage when the Whites had 27 shots on goal, but could not get a single one into the net.
“We’ve dominated a lot of games at home and away and come away with nothing and today they dominated but we rode our luck at times and we managed to come away with the points and that’s all that we came here to do,” said Bettinelli.
“I think that’s a first for me with the two penalties. I managed to save the first one and as for the second one I didn’t really know where he was going to go and I sort of stood my ground and lucky enough for us it hit the post, and we needed that bit of luck. We’ve not had that bit of luck for a long, long time and thankfully we had it this time.”
Marcus Bettinelli now heads off with the England U21 squad hoping to play when they take on the Czech Republic on 27th March and Germany on the 30th March, but is hoping this result will give the Whites the confidence they need after the international break when they take on Brentford at Craven Cottage on Friday 3rd April (3pm).
“I’m happy and confident going away to England,” said Bettinelli. “We probably would have liked [Brentford] on Wednesday because confidence would have been high but everyone’s going away with their own teams and I think we’ll come back next week and start again and take the confidence from Huddersfield and put it into the next game.
“We understand every game we go into now is technically a Cup Final for us. Nobody wanted us to be in this position. The fans, I know they don’t want us in this position. But this is the position we are in.
“We’ve had a really tough year all the way through from the start. I want to thank the fans for being patient with us. I know it can’t be easy especially with the success they’ve had in the last few years and now seeing us where we are now. But that’s the situation we’re in and we are working very hard.”