Belfast Telegraph

Pantilimon enjoying City experience

Manchester City's second-choice goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon claims life is "getting better and better" at the club.

Pantilimon, signed on loan from Romanian side Poli Timisoara in the summer, impressed on a rare outing in Tuesday's Carling Cup quarter-final win at Arsenal. The 6ft 8in Romania international made fine saves from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Park Chu-young as he kept City's first clean sheet in almost a month in the 1-0 victory.

The 24-year-old told City TV: "The manager made the choice and he brought me here. In training, with the coaches and goalkeepers, we do some very good stuff and they know what plans they choose. They have made a very good team. We are in first position and now we are in the semi-final. Things are getting better and better."

He will now make way for first choice Joe Hart as the leaders return to Barclays Premier League action against Norwich on Friday, but he feels he is making good progress in Roberto Mancini's set-up.

Pantilimon has now made three appearances since joining City in August, all of them in the Carling Cup.

When asked about the prospect of continuing in the competition - City now play Liverpool in the semi-finals - and a possible Wembley appearance, Pantilimon said: "We'll see - step by step."

While Pantilimon faces a tough task to oust England number one Hart on a regular basis, he claims the spirit among the goalkeeping group - which also includes third choice Stuart Taylor - is good.

Hart was not involved at the Emirates Stadium but passed on his best wishes to Pantilimon.

Pantilimon said: "He sent me a message before the game to tell me good luck. I thank him for that. He is a great guy.

"Stuart Taylor also is a very good guy and I am happy because I am working with very nice people and very good players."

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