SWINDON Town goalkeeping coach Steve Mildenhall says he does not have to protect young Manchester United prodigy, Matej Kovar from criticism and insists he can alter opinions by turning out more improved performances.

Kovar has struggled to live up to expectations set by former loanee, Steven Benda so far this season and was at fault for a number of goals in the early weeks of the truncated campaign.

However, the Czech stopper has steadily begun to turn his form around as his communication and general confidence between the sticks has increased.

Many fans are yet to be convinced by claims Kovar will be a top goalkeeper one day, but coach Mildenhall said the Manchester United loanee must let his glovework do the talking.

Mildenhall said: “You defend yourself by the way you play. The criticism is part and parcel of football.

“Do I think it’s more difficult nowadays to when I played? Absolutely, because you have social media. But the fact of the matter is, if you cannot take the praise as well as the criticism, then don’t get involved in anything on social media and stay away from it. You can choose to take in what you want to take in that way.”

The former Swindon Town goalkeeper continued by saying criticism can be taken as a positive and helps to develop a thick skin – something which is necessary to play in the upper echelons of professional football.

Mildenhall said: “People will always level criticism, no matter where you play.

“I’ve had plenty of it in my time, and I’ve had plenty of it shouted at me from the stands, not only from my own club’s supporters but from the opposition too.

“That’s part and parcel of it, but that’s what grounds you and what shapes you as a human being, let alone just a goalkeeper.”