SIMON Mignolet is relieved to have justified Steve Bruce’s decision to retain him as Sunderland number one.
Goalkeeper Mignolet received a vote of confidence from Bruce by being named in the Sunderland line-up for last weekend’s stalemate at Swansea despite his error from Ryan Taylor’s free-kick handing Newcastle the derby spoils seven days earlier.
Black Cats boss Bruce had installed summer signing Keiren Westwood between the sticks for the midweek Carling Cup trip to Brighton, in a bid to blood the ex-Coventry stopper.
But Mignolet (pictured) continued as Sunderland’s first-choice stopper in south Wales and repaid Bruce by helping the Wearsiders notch their first clean sheet of the season.
Mignolet told the Echo: “It was a stupid goal to concede against Newcastle and I’ll learn from it and take it on the chin. It’s more experience for a young goalkeeper like myself.
“The gaffer gave me a chance again and hopefully he’s happy with a clean sheet.
“It’s more different playing against Newcastle than it is in any other game because you know how much it means to the fans and the club.
“But it was more of a positional error, rather than a handling error. It wasn’t to do with my quality as a goalkeeper.
“I’ve just got to put it behind me and keep working hard in training.”
Mignolet admits Sunderland’s confidence took a knock after back-to-back defeats against Newcastle and Brighton.
But the 23-year-old hopes the stalemate against Swansea will provide a foundation for Sunderland ahead of a fortnight’s international break.
Mignolet, set to feature for Belgium in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Azerbaijan on Friday night, added: “It isn’t easy losing at home to Newcastle and then going away to Brighton.
“The first Carling Cup game is always difficult and going away to a newly-promoted team in a new stadium was going to be tough.
“We responded at Swansea, defensively at least, and now it’s case of scoring goals.
“From a defensive point of view, we did well and didn’t give many chances away.
“Wes Brown and Anton Ferdinand together at the back did brilliantly, as did John (O’Shea) and Phil (Bardsley).
“That’s a good base now for the rest of the season and let’s hope we can keep doing it.
“Now it’s the case to take some chances and maybe get a bit of luck on our side. Hopefully that will change in the next couple of games.
“The goalkeeper did well for Swansea and got man of the match, but at least we are creating the chances.”