Heurelho Gomes was delighted to play his part in the 1-0 win at Blackburn on Wednesday night.
The popular goalkeeper made a string of fine saves in the second half as the home side piled on the pressure looking for an equaliser at Ewood Park.
He made two point-blank saves from Mama Diouf, tipped away Junior Hoilett’s 25-yarder and the pick of the bunch, somehow getting the way of Morten Gamst Pedersen’s free-kick piledriver from the edge of the box.
Just as important was Gomes’ willingness to come and deal with any number of high balls pumped into the box, not least in the final stages with giant defender Chris Samba thrown into the attacking mix.
“I'm delighted because we got the three points,” said Gomes. “Of course, I'm happy with my performance, but I just think about the whole team and I think we deserved the win for all our hard work.
“It’s always hard at Blackburn. You have to face lots of high balls in difficult conditions and after the defeat against Fulham, it was never going to be easy to play our football.
“But the whole team put in a great performance.”
Gomes couldn’t help but smile as he recalled the save to deny Gamst Pedersen in the latter stages.
“It hit my face!” he laughed. “Unbelievable. He struck the ball so hard and I just tried to put my hands in front, but it hit my face as well.
“The most important thing is that I saved it. It was difficult, there were a lot of players in front of me and I just saw the ball when it passed the wall. It was difficult but I managed to save it.”
The mood of the squad was a stark contrast to Sunday’s FA Cup loss at Fulham. “Yes, it's so different,” added Gomes. “Now, I can go home and sleep a little. I couldn’t after Sunday.”