Przybek: Wembley's Anyone's Dream But We're Taking it a Game at a Time
Thursday, 5th Dec 2019 11:18
Debutant keeper Adam Przybek was delighted to have been the hero in last night’s penalty shoot-out victory at Peterborough having saved two penalties and praised his team-mates in a very young Blues side which had drawn 1-1 with Posh over the 90 minutes in the Leasing.com Trophy second-round tie.
Przybek was one of three youngsters making their debuts at London Road and saved spotkicks from Siriki Dembele and Frankie Kent as the Blues won only their third shoot-out in their history 6-5.
“It’s nice to be the hero in the penalties but credit to the lads for getting us that far and we did really well,” the 19-year-old said afterwards.
He says it’s not the first time he has been a penalties hero having also stopped two while on loan in non-league last season.
“I was on loan last year in the Evo-Stik and I had shoot-out and I saved two, so it’s nice to look back and think you could be the hero again and thankfully I was.” added the Nuneaton-born keeper, who had stints with Rushall Olympic, Worcester City and Gloucester City while with previous club West Brom.
The keeper took his time between each of Posh's kicks, which he said was quite deliberate: “It’s got to be done, I think. At times the momentum just needed to be killed a little bit.
“There’s no pressure as a keeper. You just look to go and do what you can to put them off, maybe slow it down a little bit and thankfully it worked out.”
Przybek says keeper-coach Jimmy Walker played his part in the shoot-out success, as did first-team coach Matt Gill.
“I spoke to Jimmy and Gilly and looked at the iPad," he said. "Just before every pen Jimmy gave little hand signals on which side potentially to go, so he played a massive part.”
It was Walker, who jovially heckled his young keeper as he spoke to the media after the match, who told him he was set to make his debut.
“There were rumours towards the end of last week and then Jimmy texted me on Tuesday night to say it had been confirmed and I was going to play,” he recalled. “I think then the nerves build up a little bit but I was looking forward to it.
“When the game started surprisingly I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I was more nervous the night before. As soon as I got my first touch I felt like it was a normal game.”
Walker said after the Colchester match in the last round that Przybek - or the currently injured Harry Wright - might have got his chance in that game if he hadn’t been on international duty with the Wales U21s, however, the young keeper says there were also probably other reasons why he might have had to wait for his chance.
“I’ve had to take my time because Tomas [Holy] and Will [Norris] are the priorities, they both need game time,” he said.
“Going away for internationals is good, it gets you out of the same environment, gets you in front of new faces, so I think there are pros and cons to it.”
He was pleased with his first-half saves with Posh much the more dangerous side in the first period.
“That’s just what I’ve got to do, just try and keep the ball out of the net and if I parry it put it into a good areas, especially with how sharp their front three were - you knew they could be following in at any point.”
Przybek is pleased that the Blues are going into the next stage of the competition so he might get another chance of first-team action.
“Definitely, I’m glad to get into the next round because it gives me another opportunity hopefully if I can stay in contention,” he added.
“But at the moment we’ve got two great keepers ahead of me so I’ve just got to keep working hard and see where I can go.”
He says senior duo Holy and Norris have helped him since he joined the club in the summer after leaving West Brom having had a trial at Portman Road late last season.
“Even before the game, yesterday Tomas and Will spoke to me, made sure I stayed calm," he said. "It’s just a great unit to be part of.
“When I signed in the summer, I think the plan for me was just to come in and start off in the U23s.
“I’ve been lucky to be involved with the first team from quite early on and that’s great, it pushes you every day, the intensity is so much higher. But for now I haven’t done anything, so I’ve got to keep working hard.”
Przybek has travelled with the first team on a number of occasions this season and has been involved in the pre-match warm-up, which he believes has benefited him.
“I’ve just tried to be a sponge and take from the senior players, like Skuse and Chambo,” he continued. “I try and learn from them and just being in and around it is massive for me.”
Reflecting on the Blues now being only three games from a Wembley final, he laughed: “It’s anyone’s dream, isn’t it? But one game at a time and we’ll see how far we can go.”
The Leasing.com Trophy has provided eight of Town’s youngsters with their debuts, while others have also added to their senior games, which Przybek says will give them a boost.
“That’s what young players need,” he said. “Stuff like this, playing in front of big crowds, intense games like this are only going to be beneficial for youngsters.”
Returning to the team for the first time in 20 months and converting the winning penalty on his 21st birthday was Barry Cotter. Przybek says he never questioned whether the Irishman would score.
“No doubt, never in doubt,” he said. “He’s a confident lad. I’ve seen him stepping up and I thought ‘Please Baz, just do it!’ and thankfully he did.”
Afterwards Przybek climbed into the crowd - “He thought he was at Wimbledon,” joked Walker recalling Pat Cash's famous post-victory celebration - to where his family were sitting.
“People don’t know the ins and outs but it’s been tough, at West Brom last season there were a few dark moments, so to share it with my family at the end was really nice,” he added.
“They were up with the Ipswich fans. My mum and dad came and my agent came along as well.
“What happened last season at West Brom? Things off the pitch that don’t really need to be mentioned, that chapter’s gone now. I’m thankful that I came here in the summer and I can move on and I can achieve what I want to achieve.”
Looking ahead to tonight’s draw, which is live on Sky Sports News at 7.15pm, he is after a home draw: “Definitely, I think we’d get a good crowd at Portman Road to take us through.”
Finally, Przybek, who played for England’s U15s and U16s but qualifies for Wales via his grandfather on his mother’s side and whose father’s parents are both Polish, outlined how to pronounce his name.
“A Polish person would say ‘Psssbek’ but obviously that’s such a tongue-twister for and English person,” he explained. “So I’d say ‘Prizbek’. I get ‘Priz-zee-bek’, ‘Prizzybek’ anything. It’s a bit of a tongue-twister!”
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