In-form Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti says his disastrous start to his career at the A-League club is well behind him.
Birighitti, who was signed from Adelaide in the off-season, conceded a goal in the first minute of his debut with the Jets before being unceremoniously sent from the field in Newcastle’s 2-0 loss to the Reds in the season-opener.
However, the 21-year-old has since played incredible football to star for the Jets and was responsible for three amazing saves in last weekend’s 2-1 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers.
“Every game I’m playing I’m getting better and better and I’m getting more confidence every week,” Birighitti said.
“Even though it was a disappointing start to the season getting sent off against my former club, that’s forgotten about now.
“Every game I’ve played since I’ve performed and I’ve just got to keep doing what I’ve been doing, training hard and making sure when I get a chance I take it.”
Jets coach Gary van Egmond likened Birighitti’s performance against the Wanderers to that of a superhero.
“It’s good when your keeper can put the superman cape on and save the day,” he said.
However, Birighitti deflected the praise saying much of the credit had to also go to the defensive efforts of his team-mates.
“Those saves, you have to make them to win games,” he said.
“It was another solid performance, not only by myself but the team in general.
“I think we deserved it, we were a bit under the pump in the second half, but to come out with the three points was a great result.
“The second half we didn’t play the best and we went a man down which made it more difficult but to hold out the way we did was fantastic.”
Birighitti singled out the efforts of centre-back Tiago Calvano in the 2-1 win over Western Sydney as well as the defensive contribution of striker Emile Heskey, who spent the final minutes of the match defending inside his own penalty box.
“Emile in those last five minutes was fantastic and Tiago put in a good shift as well throughout the whole game and kept us solid also,” Birighitti said.
“Defensively we’re getting better and better every game we’re playing.
“I thought it was a good all-round performance by the team.”
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