The inside track on the exciting Sunderland talent pushing for senior minutes and the plans to make him even better
Lee Butler believes Anthony Patterson has the profile to be a ‘top keeper’.
Patterson has been working with the new Black Cats goalkeeper coach in recent weeks, and has taken a place in the senior matchday squad while Jon McLaughlin is away on international duty.
Max Stryjek’s summer departure has cemented his position as the club’s third-choice stopper, and some eye-catching performances in the U23 side have caught the eye of manager Phil Parkinson.
Butler has enjoed worked with a ‘very ground’ and talented goalkeeper, and has a clear idea of where he can help the 19-year-old get even better.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with him,” Butler said.
“I’m pushing him a little bit more, I think he can get better. But he’s got the best hands of a young goalkeeper, well probably any goalkeeper, I’ve worked with for a long time. He’s got great hands. He makes big saves and he’s a good shot-stopper but, you know, it’s not all about that, and he knows that.
“He can take a telling off. Some of these young keepers you have to just nudge them, whereas with Patts you can give him a telling off.
“He’s doing everything I’m asking of him. He’s a bit quiet in games, so I’m getting him to talk a bit more because it’s not natural to him like it was for Jordan Pickford, for example. He’s naturally someone wants to be involved, talking quite a lot, but that’s not Patto’s personality. But he’s got to get that into his footballing personality.
“I’ve read reports and seen clips and what have you, but talking to him, he thinks he can get better at coming for crosses, he can do better with his communication, and possibly his distribution too,” Butler added.
“Jon [McLaughlin] for example has got good athleticism, he’s naturally athletic, which Patto’s probably not got, so we need to work on that, his spring and stuff. But, he’s got the right profile to be a top keeper in my eyes. He seems very grounded, and I’m really enjoying working with him and hopefully continue to work with him.”