Middlesbrough keeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos 'learnt patience'

Boro goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos

Middlesbrough goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos says long spells on the substitutes' bench is part of the job.

The 35-year-old and finally made his debut by starting Saturday's FA Cup

Having played 139 times in four seasons at Hartlepool, the Greece keeper has made 81 starts in seven years since.

"You have to learn to be patient - that is goalkeeping. I've had this situation before and it does feel good when you get back playing," he told BBC Tees.

After signing for Coventry in 2007, Konstantopoulos had various loan spells before ending a three-year stay by moving back to his homeland.

When he was released by AEK Athens last summer, he returned to Teesside as understudy to Team GB representative Jason Steele.

And after Steele was sent off, and injured his ankle the Greek had looked set to deputise until

"I think almost every keeper has been through this," said Konstantopoulos.

"The only thing to do is to keep working hard, take care of yourself and hope you impress the manager in training and wait for that chance."

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