Gunnar Nielsen is keeping on his toes in case his dream of playing a Premier League game for City comes true in the next few weeks.
The Faro Islands international has been Shay Given’s understudy for the past month following an injury to Stuart Taylor and he is ready and waiting to step up, if and when required.
Signed from Blackburn in 2009, Gunnar is yet to make his senior bow, but made it to the bench against Scunthorpe in January and has been sub for the last three League games, increasing his chances of playing for the Blues.
“It doesn’t take much for Shay to pick up a knock during a game and then suddenly you’re in the middle of everything so you’ve got to be ready,” he said.
Being on the bench for the Premier League games against Burnley, Birmingham and United was fantastic and a great experience for me and obviously, it gives you a taste of the first-team that you don’t want to give up easily
“You have to be focused and be mentally strong because it’s probably quite easy to just sit on the bench, watch the game and think you’re not going to play any part. You have to be ready before and during the game because as I say, you could be needed at any point.”
Gunnar has two full caps for his country and is hoping to establish himself at the Faroese No.1 over the next year, but he rates Given as one of the best in the business.
“The best complement I can give Shay is that he’s so consistent,” he said. “He does his job to the best of his ability every time because he’s so professional and committed. He is very thorough with his training and I’ve learned a lot just by watching him train and play.”
Gunnar is also aware if Joe Hart returns from Birmingham City next season, it will make his task of playing first-team more difficult, but rates the England keeper very highly.
“It’s not really for me to say what is best for Joe to do, but I’ve been really pleased to see him do so well this season and I’m always pleased when young keepers do well in the Premier League.
“Of course it will be hard for him if he comes back to City next season and sits on the bench for most of the year, particularly when he’s already proved himself at Birmingham, but that’s up to the club and Joe to decide.”