Bialkowski: Poland Call a Dream Come True
Monday, 12th Mar 2018 06:00
Blues keeper Bartosz Bialkowski says his first international call by Poland was a dream come true and fulfilled a promise made to his late father in their final conversation. The 30-year-old was named in the squad for the friendlies against Nigeria and South Korea later this month on Friday.
“I have been patient and working so hard to get that call up,” Bialkowski said. “Now I’m in the Polish squad and it is a dream come true for me.
“I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and make sure it is not a one-off and I’m in there long term.
“Going to the World Cup in Russia is the aim but I’m not on the plane yet. I’m in the departure lounge maybe, but I have more hard work to do. I will do everything I can to be on that plane.”
Bialkowski spoke to Poland manager Adam Nawalka after the Burton Albion game last month, the former Wisla Krakow defender having watched the match along with his assistant Tomasz Iwan. He then heard from national goalkeeper-coach Jaroslaw Tkocz following the win at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday.
“I was beginning to wonder if the call up was ever coming but I never stopped believing,” Bialkowski admitted.
“I knew there are so many good goalkeepers in Poland it was difficult to get in but I kept going.”
After receiving the call, former Southampton and Notts County man Bialkowksi tweeted a dedication in Polish to his father, Marek, who died in August 2015.
“This is for my father,” he explained. ”In my last chat with him I promised him I would get a call up, so this is for him.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sheffield United, he added: “We were solid at the back but it was a shame we could not find a goal for ourselves.
“They are a decent side and are above us in the table but even so it was a shame we could not nick it.
“A point is a point and if you can’t win then don’t lose. The pitch is not the best but it was the same for both sides. “As a keeper you want to keep as many clean sheets as you can so it was good.
“We do need to score more goals, especially at home, that said we have plenty more games to do that.”
Blades skipper Billy Sharp wasn’t unhappy with the point but felt his side ought to have claimed all three and was frustrated not to have taken his second half opportunity from the rebound after James Wilson had hit the post.
“It was a good point away at Ipswich,” he reflected. “There was not much quality out there but Ipswich make it that way, and the pitch wasn’t great either.
“I thought we did just enough to edge it. Hopefully though ,with two home games coming up, this won’t look too bad.”
Regarding his chance, he said: “The ball came hard and a bit high. I tried to place it but hit it into the ground whereas I should probably have just put my foot through it.
“I was disappointed with that and we had other chances but the gaffer is happy enough with us.”
While Town are 12th, nine points off the play-offs, the Blades are ninth only five behind Middlesbrough in sixth, although both have a game in hand on the Teessiders.
“We still have a great opportunity to make the play-offs,” Sharp insisted. “There are six or seven teams fighting to get in to the top six and we are one of them.
“We know we are more than capable and we have been in there before and dropped out.
“This is a big week for us, with two home games, and we will see where we are after that but we can still do it.
“We need to follow up this good point with wins at home, including the game in hand, then we will be in a good position.”
Meanwhile, Town’s U23s are in action against Watford at Playford Road this afternoon (KO 1pm).
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