Brentford goalkeeper Álvaro Fernández hailed the defensive masterclass that helped him to his first Premier League clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Everton. The Spanish stopper made two decisive stops to deny Salomón Rondón and Alex Iwobi at crucial times in the clash with the Toffees. But he was quick to pay tribute to the rest of the team who restricted Rafa Benitez’ side to a handful of half chances.
“We knew it would be a tough game because both teams needed a win, but we started really well and scored and then closed off the gaps, defended so well and deserved the win,” said the Spain international, speaking to the written media after the match.
The stopper said the clean sheet was “so special” after a difficult start to his Premier League career: “I needed it because I’ve been training so hard. I was relaxed and calm because I work every day with the team trying to improve our defensive actions. Finally, I got the clean sheet and we are so happy.
“I was ready to play. I didn’t start as I wanted to but against Everton I showed to everyone I can play here in this league, that I have the level to play here and I want to play as many games as I can.”
Álvaro’s reflex save to thwart Rondón’s low snapshot caught the eye, but the number one said the second from Iwobi was technically more of a confidence boost: “The first was about making myself bigger but the second was more difficult because I couldn’t see the ball and had to react.”
The stopper admitted he has the perfect training partner in Ivan Toney.
“He’s the best penalty taker in the world. When he goes to kick, he waits for the reaction of the keeper and then changes side. I practice every day with him and try to save one. I don’t save too many but it’s not easy,” he joked. “But it’s great that he has a very big percentage and we trust in him. What he does is so difficult because you have to be brave, but he is very brave.”
The keeper is refusing to look at the table ahead of a hectic December schedule: “Now is not the time to do that because we have a tough month with eight games and a Carabao Cup tie, so we’ll go again and in March or April we’ll see where we are.”
Right now he admitted it was a “fantastic feeling” to be on a new unbeaten run which the squad will look to extend at Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday: “It’s going to be tough game but we will go there to get three points. Why not.”