By Paul Brown
Brad Guzan says it's "really exciting" to hear his name read out by manager Paul Lambert before each Barclays Premier League match.
Guzan has been an ever-present in the claret and blue top-flight line-up since the Newcastle match two months ago.
But the goalkeeper says he feels terrific each time the gaffer reveals the line-up an hour before-kick with his name included between the sticks.
But he certainly won't be taking things for granted, with Shay Given - a player he rates incredibly high - pushing him all the way for a spot in the team.
He said: "Any time you're selected to play in the team it's exciting.
"That's what you work for - you want to be playing and you want to be playing well each week.
"For me, every time I hear my name read out it's a tremendous feeling.
"I then try to go out and prove my worth to my team-mates, my manager, the fans and the club.
"I have always been confident in my ability. It was just a case of getting an opportunity.
"Obviously once the season started it wasn't my time. I continued to work hard and when the opportunity came you don't want to let go of it.
"You want to keep playing well and get better each week. To hear your name at the weekend is terrific.
"But Shay is a true professional. Working with him in the week is terrific.
"It's always tough because every player wants a place in the team. It's even worse for goalkeepers because there's only one spot.
"But Shay has been supportive. I know what it's like because I was on the bench for quite a few years
"He'll be taking that frustration at not playing into training and doing his best to get back into the team. I know I have to keep performing to stay in there because I have a big player and a big character vying for the spot."
Guzan says one of the great things about playing is being able to applaud and also take the appreciation of the claret and blue army at home and, this weekend, away at Manchester City.
He added: "It's an amazing experience walking out towards that Holte End at the start of the game and the North Stand at the start of the second half at home and applauding the away fans when we're on the road.
"It's just brilliant. The atmosphere was just sensational against Manchester United. It was one of the best I have known in my time here. It was tremendous, the sort of atmosphere you want to play in front of.
"The away fans have been terrific too. They're obviously always in the minority when we travel away but it's always them we can hear during games. Their noise-levels are great!"
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