Tomas Cerny says he always had confidence in his ability to deliver for Aberdeen.
And after making his debut for the Dons in goal in the 2-1 win over Hibs, the Czech keeper says he will be ready to step up to the plate against Rangers tonight, if required.
The Reds face the Gers looking to move above them into second in the Premiership by winning at Pittodrie.
First-choice goalie Joe Lewis is expected to return to the starting line-up. The Englishman was subbed at the end of the first half at Easter Road on Saturday after colliding with a post and picking up a nasty gash above his left eye.
That meant Cerny was thrust into action. It was the former Partick Thistle and Hamilton stopper’s first game for Aberdeen after joining in July.
The 33-year-old was pleased to make his Dons bow as he helped keep the Hibees out in the second half as Derek McInnes’ team won 2-1.
Cerny said: “It was really nice for me to play on Saturday. I’m not happy Joe Lewis hit his head on the post but it was good for me to play for the first team.
“I have waited a long time and we managed to win the game as well, so I was very pleased.
“It’s a new role for me (being a No 2), but I’m trying to prepare for every game as if I was playing, then step in if I am needed like Saturday.
“It had been a long time since I’d played in the first team so it’s not easy to come in and play.
“But I think I did well and winning made the debut very special for me. I have played over 300 games in my career at this sort of level – so I know I can do well.
“But if you are not playing for a while it is just a case of getting into the game.
“Once the second half started against Hibs I just focused on my games like I do in any other game.
“It’s brilliant working with Joe. I still learn from him because he is a different type of goalkeeper.
“We have a really good atmosphere between me and Joe and Gordon Marshall, the goalkeeping coach, and a couple of the young guys. It’s very enjoyable.
“I think when you work alongside different goalkeepers and goalkeeping coaches you always try to learn new things and improve parts of your game.
“Sometimes you see bits of the game that another goalkeeper does better than you so I think I have improved a couple of things at Aberdeen, which is positive.”
Cerny admits that if Lewis has recovered after being stitched up on Saturday then he expects to be back on the bench tonight.
He added: “We don’t know what the team is for tonight.
“Personally because Joe has done so well I expect if he is fully fit he will come back in.
“I expect that because he has done so well for the club, but we don’t know yet and there are still a couple of knocks in the squad.”
The Dons have yet to lose to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side, winning two meetings and drawing the other encounter. Cerny believes the Reds should take confidence from that record ahead of this clash.
He said: “It will be a tough game. I think we should take confidence from the good record we have against Rangers this season.
“All the games are tough games but we have managed to get really good results against them.
“Especially in the last game at Ibrox when we went down to 10 men and won 1-0, so we’re trying to do the same this time.
“The manager is trying to reiterate that it is so important to keep picking up the points so that we are involved at the top of the table.
“We are playing Rangers and rather than being six or seven points behind them it’s so close and it makes it that much more exciting for us and the fans.”