David Moyes believes Jordan Pickford will be a "top keeper" after seeing the home-grown star repel everything Hull City threw at him.
Victor Anichebe captured the headlines for the second game running when his second-half double won the vital Premier League confrontation at the Stadium of Light.
However, while the powerful forward won it, Pickford certainly saved his side - on more than one occasion.
Only one minute, 20 seconds were on the clock when he dived low to his right to turn around a Dieumerci Mbokani shot from the edge of the box before pulling off another great effort to deny Sam Clucas after Didier Ndong lost possession.
After the break he made a breathtaking save from Robert Snodgrass and and then another low down from Curtis Davies from a Snodgrass corner.
"I thought he was average," said Moyes with his tongue firmly inside his cheek ahead of some fulsome praise. "Jordan was just what I expected from him.
"Some of the saves he's made in the last two games have been unbelievable and we've needed them.
"We've needed him [against Hull] as much we've needed the two centre-forwards.
"If he keeps growing and doing the things he should do, working in the gym, keeping his diet correct I think there's a top keeper in there, I really do."
It was Pickford's first clean sheet for Sunderland who moved off the bottom, climbing above Swansea, the Welsh side conceding a late equaliser at Everton.
THe Black Cats are now three points from safety with West Ham, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough all just above the drop zone on 11 points.