Mitch: Keeper's spot not mine

He may be one of the form goalkeepers of the Hyundai A-League, having conceded just two goals in the past six games, but Melbourne custodian Mitch Langerak does not yet feel like he yet owns the role between the posts at the reigning Hyundai A-League champions.

He may be one of the form goalkeepers of the Hyundai A-League, having conceded just two goals in the past six games, but Melbourne custodian Mitch Langerak does not yet feel like he yet owns the role between the posts at the reigning Hyundai A-League champions.

The 21-year-old was given his chance by coach Ernie Merrick after Melbourne's shock 4-0 loss to Central Coast in November. While he had filled in for former stopper Michael Theoklitos on occasions last season, it hasn't been until now that the boy from Bundaberg in North Queensland has been given an extended period in goal.

He has clearly made a difference, with Melbourne's defence the best in the competition over the past month or so, with just two goals getting past Langerak. He attributes that to the strength and commitment of his defenders, rather than to anything he has done.

"I completely attribute it to the boys in front of me. They've been fantastic, they've kept things very quiet for me throughout the whole game and I've only been called on a couple of times. The boys in front of me have done a terrific job and I can't credit them enough," he said.

"I'm happy with how I've played and I've been very happy with the boys in front of me. They've done a fantastic job."

Langerak looked the heir apparent when long-time stopper Theoklitos left the club after last season. But the arrival of New Zealand international keeper Glen Moss let the youngster know that he would have to fight for his spot in the starting XI.

Moss initially won that battle and played for the first half of the season, but after that loss to the Mariners, a door opened for Langerak and he has set about making a mark for himself. However, he doesn't yet feel that the No.1 spot belongs to him.

"I wouldn't say it's mine exactly, but it's been good to play a few games together. Last year it was good I was only 19-20, to play a few games when Michael was out and this year it's good to have a few games on the trot and build some confidence and build some momentum going into the final games of the season," he said.

"It's based on performances and as long as I'm performing well, I'll give myself the best opportunity to keep playing, but in football, things can change in the blink of an eye and I'm not getting ahead of myself just yet."

Langerak knows that while competition between him and Moss can only be good for both of their games, keepers need to maintain a strong professional relationship and cannot let their rivalry spill over.

"Glen is fantastic to me. At the start of the season when he got the nod, I was there supporting him and he's been fantastic for me, supporting me the whole way. I think goalkeepers need to look out for each other. We all know the nature of the job, one person is playing, one person is on the bench. You have to deal with it the best you can," he said.

Langerak is maintaining the old adage of taking it one game at a time and his focus is getting another clean sheet in Sunday's away match against Newcastle.

"We are three points off Sydney with a game in hand an we're looking to bounce back from the match against North Queensland. We are not happy with how we played, but it-s been good to have the week off and we have had plenty of time to think about our performance," he said.