What a memorable month September was for Dundee United goalkeeper Cammy Bell. Some goalkeepers go a whole season without saving a penalty but he managed to pull of three within half an hour against Dunfermline.
After a slowish start, Dundee United are starting to pick up a few results and a big factor has been the form of the former Rangers man between the sticks.
The Terrors stopper and Ladbrokes Championship Player of the Month has been speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News…
Ladbrokes News: Many Congratulations on your award Cammy. How pleased are you with the start you and United have made to the season?
Cammy Bell: Personally, I am very happy with how things have started at my new club and I have settled in really nicely. It’s also been a really encouraging start for the team.
There were big changes at the club with a new management team and eleven new players arriving as well as playing in a new division. We took a while to gel but we are slowly beginning to progress and hopefully we will start putting a nice little run together and pick up some much needed points.
LN: You incredibly saved three penalties in the first half against Dunfermline. Talk us through your memories of the match?
CB: Yes, it was a special moment for myself and one that I will remember for the rest of my life. It was
obviously very strange conceding three penalties in the same half. I was delighted with the first save, then I got injured in the build-up to the second one. I managed to dust myself down and kept it out, and with the third one I was going in there with so much confidence I fancied myself to pull it off.
When I saved the third one I knew I had done something a bit special, but it was also fantastic for the team as it helped us to an important victory.
LN: Do you have any special techniques when facing penalties?
CB: Not especially. Nowadays there’s a lot of video footage that you can watch to give you some help. I tend to watch the players run-ups to give me an idea and I try my best to put them off with a bit of psychology.
There are lots of different techniques to try but at the end of the day going in there with a confident mindset that you think you’re going to make the save is crucial.
LN: In your last league match you got a point at Easter Road. How big a confidence boost was that for the squad?
CB: Yes, I think it was a good point for us, we were actually a little disappointed that we didn’t take all three points. You know going to Hibs is going to be a difficult, but we know we have to go to these kind of places and pick up results if we want to be up there at the end of the season.
We were happy when we came off the pitch and we spoke in the dressing room after the match about the positives we can take into the next few matches.
LN: Do you fancy your chances of finishing above Hibs and do you see it as a two horse race between you?
CB: I definitely don’t see it as a two-way battle. We’ve already seen this season that any team can beat anyone on their day and if you don’t play well enough there are no freebies. I think it will be the team that put’s a consistent run together that will be up there at the end of the season.
I can see it going right down to the last few games and it’s going to be an exciting tight season.
LN: You joined Dundee United in the summer. What was it that attracted you to the club?
CB: When I first spoke to the manager, his enthusiasm was a massive influence on me joining. I knew before joining that United are a big club in Scotland.
They are in the wrong division in my opinion but you need to earn the right to get back up into the top flight.
LN: You have just gone under the knife to fix a niggling injury, how long do you expect to be out for?
CB: I came back into light training yesterday and that went well. I am hoping that I possibly might be available to come back at the weekend but it will be later in the week until we find out for sure.
I am hopeful it wont be a long term thing and will be back in action in the next couple of weeks.
LN: What do you make of the result for Scotland last night and where does that put us in the qualifying campaign?
CB: It was a really disappointing result last night. Personally, I don’t think we did enough to take anything from the game and we were well beaten. There was a lot of pressure on the team to go and get a result after Saturday’s draw and it’s been a really tough few days for the national team.
It’s now going to be really difficult qualify but we are still far from out of it and qualifying is not out of the question just yet. It would be typical Scotland if we go and get a result against England, and they are going to be vital games now.
LN: Finally, do you have ambitions yourself to get back into the national team?
CB: Yes I do, I would never say I don’t. It’s the pinnacle of your career to play for your national team. I was in and around the squad for a while but a couple of injuries set me back. Now I am back playing I just want to keep doing well for Dundee United and pushing up the league then you never know what might happen.
If you are doing well yourself then the national manager will hopefully take notice and I can get back involved at some time.
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