Begovic - Fans are first class
Asmir Begovic has thanked the Stoke fans for their support after he made his first-team return on Tuesday.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 23/09/10 11:47am
Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has thanked the club's fans for their support after he made his first-team return on Tuesday night.
The 23-year-old played in Stoke's 2-0 Carling Cup victory over Fulham in what was his first appearance since Chelsea's reported £4.5million offer for him in the August transfer window.
Begovic caused a stir in the previous round when he told Potters boss Tony Pulis he was not mentally ready to play against Shrewsbury due to the transfer interest.
His actions led to Pulis reading him the riot act in public, however the Bosnian is now focused on repaying the faith shown in him by the manager and his fans.
He told The Sentinel: "The fans have always been first class since I joined the club.
"I had a bit of a sticky patch here, so it was nice to see them support me (against Fulham)."
Begovic, who has a four-year deal at the Britannia Stadium, said he is settled in the area and is now concentrating on a successful future with City.
He added: "From my point of view I am here and ready to fight for the No.1 spot - as I have been since I joined the club. I will see where that takes me.
"I am content here and my family is settled. Of course I would like to play as much as I can, that is no secret, but if the gaffer wants to keep me then I will keep pushing on.
"Any player who doesn't play is not happy, but that is something you have to keep working on.
"You have to try to get your chance and impress when you can. That is all I am trying to do."
Begovic also insists his relationship with manager Pulis has not been ruined by the dispute in the transfer window.
He added: "A bit of what happened was blown out of proportion in the media. We get on fine.
"I didn't put in a transfer request and I didn't go on strike. That was blown way out of proportion.
"There was an opportunity that was fantastic for me, but I never made it clear that I wanted to leave.
"I am happy to stay in January so long as the club wants me. If something great comes along, that's a different thing.
"Every player has a big ambition to play at the top level. But I am enjoying it in this part of the country and enjoying being with my team-mates and the fans."