Thorsten Stuckmann did what he does best as he saved another penalty for the Lilywhites in their latest pre-season fixture.
The giant German stopper threw himself to his left to deny Jack Compton a Hartlepool equaliser after Joe Garner had converted from the spot earlier in the match – a goal which turned out to be the match winner.
And speaking exclusively to PNE.Com after the match, Stuckmann talked us through the save and the confidence his teammates have in him.
“I have saved a few and I am glad I have,” said the PNE No.1, when discussing the uncanny knack he has of keeping the ball out the North End net from the spot.
“Joe Garner and Graham Cummins where standing on the halfway line with their centre half and said there was no chance their player would score it and it’s good that the players have the confidence in me to save some penalties and keep the game alive.
“I think it was quite clear where he was going to go because he opened his body up and then I think it is always good for the keeper when he doesn’t put it on the floor and about half the height of the goal.
“Of course there was a bit of power on it but when you get the right corner there is always the chance of saving it and I am glad I did.
“You have to read the striker a little bit and I am quite happy that I did that right.
“My dad always told me a secret about watching players take penalties so I thought about it and said, ‘ok, let’s go!’"
Despite his penalty heroics, the goalkeeper is adamant that his first and only priority between the sticks is keeping cleansheets and he was pleased to do that on Friday night as well as get 90 minutes under his belt.
He continued: “All we want as a keeper is a cleansheet, I think we worked quite hard, we done a few sloppy passes in the middle of the game and that caused us some problems but at the end I think we defended quite well and I didn’t have too much to do.
“That’s what you want, you want to play 90 minutes and want to be involved in the games and I got 90 minutes in my legs today, they are a bit tired now but that is alright because we won.”
With only one more match between PNE and the start of the season, Stuckmann is ready for one last fight with loanee goalkeeper Declan Rudd, in the friendly war to dawn the gloves to kick-off the 2013/14 season.
“Me and Declan are already in a battle and I hope it is a tough one and a tight one for the gaffer and we will see what his decision is and we will go from there,” added Stuckmann.
“I think we have both played a good pre-season and it is his decision now, we have both tried to make it as difficult as we can for him.”