Marcus Bettinelli was ‘absolutely buzzing’ after keeping a clean sheet on his return to the Fulham first team as the Whites beat Birmingham to move into the top half of the Championship yesterday.
The Fulham academy graduate has waited four months for a taste of first team action but after Slavisa Jokanovic axed David Button following his mistake at former club Brentford in last weekend’s derby defeat, Bettinelli stepped in to help secure Fulham’s third win in four games. The popular goalkeeper paid tribute to an excellent defensive display when he spoke with FulhamFCTV after the final whistle:
I’ve got to compliment the lads today. Defensively there were absolutely terrific and literally left me with nothing to do. I don’t really think they had too many shots on target. Personally, I’m absolutely over the moon. I’ve waited a long time for my chance again this season and I’m happy to back in. Absolutely buzzing with the clean sheet.
Bettinelli also had more than a few words for the Fulham fans, with whom he enjoys a special affinity after coming through the club’s youth set-up as a teenager.
The fans have been terrific with me ever since I came in under Magath. Even when I made a couple of bad kicks today, I could still here them shouting my name. I can only try to repay them by coming out and trying my best here and show the passion. They come here and to the away games, paying their money to watch us play and – not just me – everyone in the dressing room really appreciates their support. We know how hard it is when the team’s not doing well, not scoring goals. Personally, I can’t thank them enough. They’ve always supported, even when I’ve not been playing. I’m just glad that we got the clean sheet today.
The goalkeeper was delighted that Fulham managed to put the Griffin Park setback behind him at the first time of asking – and hopes the Whites can score more goals in the weeks ahead.
I’ve been in that dressing room after Brentford away and lost a couple of times. It’s not a nice place to be. We know how much that game means to the fans. The lads were gutted. We picked ourselves up this week, training’s been lively and I thought going forward we were a lot better. I know we only scored the one goal, but we created a lot of chances, Stocko made a couple of really good saves and another day we could have walked away with a four or five-nil.
Everyone knows in that dressing room what we are capable of. We just haven’t shown that to our full potential yet, but it’s a long season. We’re going to give it a good go now, over the Christmas period there’s a lot of games coming up. We’ve got Sunderland away next and hopefully we can get another three points. We are scary going forward, we’ve got lots of good players and hopefully we can get a few more goals.