SCOTT Flinders admits that he surprised himself with his heroic display against Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Without the goalkeeper’s second-half intervention his side would have been on the receiving end of a heavy defeat at the hands of their Championship visitors.
Flinders denied Lucas Jutkiewicz from the penalty spot and repeatedly thwarted the Teessiders with a string of stupendous saves.
But the Pools No.1 has revealed that he was actually nervous entering the game given his lack of training during pre-season.
He missed both matches during the tour of Holland with a hip problem and only returned to action at Whitby Town on Wednesday.
To that end, Flinders was thrilled with his performance at the weekend.
“It was my first proper game so I was delighted with how things went – I surprised myself really,” he told SportMail.
“The game against Whitby got me my bearings but I was still a bit apprehensive going into Saturday.
“I’ve only really trained properly for a week or so.
“But I think it was 11 saves in the end.
“Once you’re in the zone it’s sometimes hard to get past a goalkeeper when he’s on song.
“I’m sure I’ll have days I want to forget but Saturday wasn’t one of them, I went home really happy.”
Jutkiewicz would no doubt have had nightmares about Flinders’ imposing frame on Saturday night.
And the Pools man has revealed that his opponent took time to congratulate him afterwards.
“I spoke to Lucas after the game and he said he just couldn’t get past me,” he went on.
“So to have that recognition from a proven Championship striker is nice.
“For his penalty I just did what goalies do and that is guess one way and try to make myself big.
“I’m just glad that it hit me and went clear.
“But it’s always nice to test yourself against a side like Middlesbrough and I was pleased with how I did.
“We’ve still got a few things to work on as a team but that’s three clean sheets in a row now so hopefully we’re going to have a solid enough base.”