Deniz Mehmet has enjoyed his run between the sticks with Dundee United No 1 Benjamin Siegrist sidelined.
Now the Tangerines’ goalkeeper is aiming to prove he can do the job full time next season.
Deniz has worn the gloves with distinction in Siegrist’s absence, with the Swiss stopper ruled out with a wrist injury.
The 28-year-old has started United’s last five games in both the league and the Scottish Cup – one of his most consistent stints in the starting XI.
He doesn’t know what the future holds but, with Siegrist attracting transfer interest and having just a year to run on his deal, Deniz is out to show he can be relied on next term.
‘There’s nothing more I’d like than to try to do that’
“I’m just trying to perform the best I can for the team and the club,” he said.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen over the summer with Ben.
“If something does happen and someone comes in and buys Ben then, yes, I need to try to prove the club can rely on me to be the No 1 next year.
“There’s nothing more I’d like than to try to do that.
“It’s just one of those things. Time will tell.”
Deniz has another year to run on his own deal after signing new terms last summer.
The big keeper is now hoping for a successful campaign next time out as he continues to prove his worth.
He continued: “It was nice to extend my time.
“I had a year left of my contract already but it was good to extend it and commit myself further.
“We’ll see what happens and, hopefully, it can be a good and big season for me.”
Hampden heartache for Deniz but looking forward to what lies ahead
Although he has enjoyed getting more minutes under his belt of late, Deniz admits Saturday’s 2-0 Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Hibs stings.
It wasn’t United’s day at Hampden but the English-born former Turkey youth international hopes to be a part of the mission to get the club back to the national stadium in the near future.
“It is difficult to forget about what happened,” Deniz revealed.
“It was really disappointing but it is what it is and we need to look towards the next game.
“The quarter-finals at Aberdeen (3-0 win) was a really good game for us where everything seemed to work and click. We didn’t have that momentum at Hampden.
“It is disappointing because of the occasion it is and what it could have brought.
“It was really disappointing coming back up the road. We have all thought about it over the weekend.
“It hasn’t left my mind but that’s football. We just need to dust ourselves off and prepare again.”
When asked if its one of the most painful defeats he’s experienced, Deniz continued: “It is definitely up there as one of the worst.
“There have been quite a few ups and downs.
“It makes it even worse when you are so close to a final.
“It is nice to get to Hampden and I would love to get back. It is an amazing place.
“I really enjoyed the day, although the result went against us, looking back it was still a great experience.
“It is just upsetting to know we won’t be going back this season. Hopefully, we can get back there sooner rather than later.”
Nothing takes away from positive campaign
Cup exit aside, Deniz insists it’s been a successful season for the Terrors.
Aiming to finish seventh in their first season back in the top flight following promotion from the Championship is a real sign of progress for the goalie.
“We are new up and had a great season in the Championship,” Deniz added.
“We were in the top six half of the season and then we fell away at the end and dropped into the bottom half.
“We still secured our place in the league and had an amazing Scottish Cup run.
“Potentially, we have exceeded people’s expectations of us and that is something we can hold our heads high over.
“The fact we are so disappointed to lose in the semi-final is a good base to take things from for next season.”
Terrors still have plenty to play for
Pride is what the Terrors are playing for now – starting tonight as Motherwell call in at Tannadice before the campaign comes to a close in Paisley on Sunday.
Deniz wants the Tangerines to put on a show for their supporters and prove they can live up to the high expectations set by the Arabs.
He commented: “Everyone knows the history of the club. It’s a big weight on your shoulders to try to emulate it.
“But it’s something that we’ve got to live with and try to build on it every week.
“We need to try to progress each season and see what we can do.
“Obviously, we’ll try our best again next season and try to build once again, aim to at least go the same distance in the cup and try to push things further in the league.
“It’s just something we’ve got to deal with and build on.
“It’s a pride thing now for us. We just need to go out and perform and to the best of our abilities.
“We need to try to get two results, finish as high as we can. That would give us a good base in preparation for next season and then, hopefully, build on where we’ve left off.”