After a change of manager at Swindon Town, Manchester United loanee Matej Kovar may have been getting a little nervous.
After Richie Wellens departed for Salford City and was replaced by John Sheridan, Kovar found himself dropped to the bench a week ago.
It was disappointing but unsurprising. His start to life on loan in League One had been indifferent, with 24 goals conceded in 11 games in all competitions.
However, Swindon fared little better without him, conceding three against Shrewsbury, so Kovar was recalled to the side this past weekend.
It was a decision which paid off, with Kovar keeping his first clean sheet in the Football League.
The 20-year-old played his part as Swindon earned a 1-0 victory over Bristol Rovers.
Kovar played his part with a couple of important saves to earn his clean sheet.
The club website picked one out, “The Czech goalkeeper made a magnificent low save from Nicholson who caught a low, powerful half volley sweetly from 25 yards, but the Manchester United loanee was razor sharp down to his right to push the ball to safety.”
The local paper the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard referred to another effort from Luke McCormick, writing: “Inside the final 10 minutes, Matej Kovar made a wonderful save down to his right to keep the score at 1-0.”
A stepping stone
Loans can be tough for young players and goalkeepers in the lower leagues have it tough as they can get targeted by physical opponents.
Kovar, 20, is learning on the job and this is all good experience for him. He had nothing to gain from another season with the under-23s.
Earning his first clean sheet is a personal achievement and this can be a launching pad for the rest of the season.
Swindon are battling away in 18th out of 24 teams and as it stands, are unlikely to push for a play-off spot.
Kovar’s task is to try and help his side finish as high as possible, and see what kind of future opportunities he can open up for himself in the process, and potentially land a Championship loan next season. More clean sheets will help his cause.
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