Stags loan keeper Evtimov is living the dream

Dimitar Evtimov -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Dimitar Evtimov -Pic by: Richard Parkes

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Bulgarian keeper Dimitar Evtimov is living the dream by playing English League football on loan to Mansfield Town from Championship neighbours Nottingham Forest.

The promising 21-year-old, on a six-month loan from the Reds, has managed to win the keeper’s jersey from Sascha Studer at One Call Stadium and said: “In Bulgaria I always dreamed about playing in England.

“Personally, I think the league here is the best in the world. My hero was Edwin van de Sar. I went for a trial at Man United when I was 15 to I had the chance to work with him which was great.

“I am delighted to be getting games, which is helping my experience, and I hope I can contribute to the team’s success as well.

“I can imagine it is really hard for Sascha as, if I was in his position, it would be really hard for me. It is the manager’s decision and whoever plays will do a good job.

“I am here until the New Year and so far I am just taking every game as it comes. But you never know – Maybe they will extend my loan?”

Evtimov was delighted to keep a clean sheet in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Morecambe after the disappointment of Saturday’s defeat at Wycombe.

“We bounced back really well after the previous game, winning and keeping a clean sheet,” he said.

“I had a really quiet night and didn’t have anything to do really. So I just had to concentrate to the end.

“Sometimes you can start thinking about other things but players do shout at you to keep focused.

“We would have been very disappointed not to win as we dominated throughout.”

Stags might have won at Wycombe as well but were rocked by a controversial penalty which saw the home side come from behind to win.

“I don’t want to comment on the referee but people at the game saw clearly it wasn’t a penalty,” said Evtimov. “But at the end of the day that was the referee’s decision and we can’t change that so we have to carry on.

“We responded well to that on Tuesday. Now we just need to find a bit of consistency and a bit of balance.

“There is nothing to fear in this league whatsover. The division is very equal and you can lose to a bottom team but win against top teams.”

Evtimov still has ambitions to make the first team at the City Ground.

“Forest have staff members always coming to the games to keep an eye on me,” he said.

“I came from Bulgaria when I was 16, four years ago, and is was really hard at first being miles away from your home country, coming into a different environment, different people, a different culture and a different language. But it does become easier.

“Since I have been at Forest they have had five different managers so it’s been hard. But Stuart Pearce is a really good manager and you can see the team is doing really well.”

Forest are certainly going to be in the market for a new keeper next season with Karl Darlow on his way to Newcastle United.

“It is encouraging, especially as Darlow came through the Academy as well,” he said “He got his chance and took it well and I hope I can take my chance one day and take it as well.”

Carlisle are bottom of the table, but Evtimov already knows there are no easy games in this league. “Sometimes it is the best time to play them and sometimes the worst. This league is very equal and we know it is going to be a hard game,” he said.