Guzan inspired by support
Brad Guzan says Aston Villa's away support inspired his penalty saving heroics against Sunderland.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 28/10/09 4:41pm
Brad Guzan believes Aston Villa's travelling contingent inspired his penalty saving heroics against Sunderland in the Carling Cup fourth round.
The American goalkeeper was inspired as he saved four penalties to send Villa through to the quarter-finals after a shoot-out win at the Stadium of Light.
As many as 2000 Villa supporters made the trip north as the club laid on free transport in the shape of 40 coaches in order to get them to the game.
Guzan, understudy to Brad Friedel, first saved from Kenwyne Jones five minutes from the end of normal time before denying Andy Reid, Lorik Cana and Jordan Henderson in the shoot-out to see Villa prevail 3-1 on penalties.
"They were fantastic tonight to travel all this way and come out and support us for the entire time," said Guzan.
"When you're playing away in these cup games it can be sometimes difficult to play on the road and I thought they really made us feel at home.
"It was good to give them the result for travelling all that way. Obviously it worked out nice that we were able to have it in front of our fans and celebrate in front of them.
"I think that was the least we could do after the amount of travelling they had to do. After they had to endure such a long match it was fantastic to get a good result."
Guzan opted not to watch his team-mates take their spot-kicks, instead preferring to focus on the job he had to do.
"You have to stay focused and get yourself in the zone," he added in the Birmingham Mail.
"When you're facing a penalty you're either going to be looked at as a hero or the shooter's going to be looked at as the guy that blew the chance.
"You can't really go wrong as a goalkeeper unless you let one go through your hands or something like that.
"I was just focusing on the next one and not worrying about what our guys were doing because the crowd will let you know.
"I think in that situation mentally you have to be so focused. You try to have some luck on your side and fortunately I did."