Fulham keeper David Stockdale has warned Fulham number one Mark Schwarzer he will be pushing him for a first-team recall.
Schwarzer was left out for the start of the season as Arsenal aimed to sign the 37-year-old Australia international, meaning Stockdale was given his Premier League debut two years after joining the Cottagers from Darlington.
Schwarzer has ended up staying at Craven Cottage but Stockdale, who turns 25 next week, took full advantage and was a unanimous choice as the club’s star man in August.
The promising keeper played on despite picking up an ankle injury in the 2-2 draw at Blackpool, which robbed him of a surprise England call-up.
And although Schwarzer returned for Saturday’s 2-1 win over Wolves, Stockdale is eager to earn another stint between the sticks.
“I’m definitely surprised I won the player of the month award and hopefully now I can get fit and push Mark for his first-team place,” he said.
“He’s a great goalkeeper so I can’t push my luck and I’ll cover him until my opportunity comes around again.
“I waited two years for my chance to come so it was really disappointing to get injured but the fans know they’ve got someone behind Mark now.
“I got injured after 60 minutes against Blackpool but I didn’t want to come off. It was mentally tough out there with the injury but I just wanted to carry on and show determination.”
Fulham’s 20-year-old keeper Neil Etheridge was on the bench against Wolves but Stockdale hopes to make a speedy return to full fitness.
“The injury is a lot better and we’re hoping I’ll be back in full training in 10 days time,” he said. “I’m aiming to be back on the bench for the Everton game.
“Unfortunately it’s meant I’ve had to sit out a few games but they said it would have been about the same time if I’d come off anyway.”
Stockdale played in all four of Fulham’s games in August, with the 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United particularly memorable.
“My favourite game was the Manchester United match,” he added. “I’ve got links to Leeds with my family so there’s a bit of added rivalry for me.
“The fans were behind me in the first half and they were really encouraging me – I was delighted I came through those matches in August.”