Jack Ross gives his view on Sunderland goalkeeper competition and Jon McLaughlin contract latest

Jack Ross says that Lee Burge will push Jon McLaughlin to even greater heights after another superb Carabao Cup performance.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 6:00 am
Lee Burge impressed in Sunderland's win over Sheffield United

Burge joined the Black Cats this summer and has impressed on each of his three appearances.

McLaughlin, who Ross earlier this season said was the best goalkeeper in League One, will likely return for the visit of MK Dons on Saturday but Ross is thrilled with how Burge has applied himself to the challenge so far.

“Lee is an absolute dream to work with, as a character, personality and professional,” he said.

“He’s helped us enormously in his attitude towards training and how he’s been.

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“And then, his performance levels in games has been brilliant.

“That’s hugely encouraging for me, to have Jon who is terrific, and a goalkeeper behind him that looks really good.

“It’s hugely comforting for us and should push Jon as well.

“Lee knew when he came into the club how we viewed Jon,” he added.

“What we were looking for from another goalkeeper, he has fulfilled everything.

“I didn’t want to have another goalkeeper to come in and be there just incase.

“I wanted someone who would push and push and push, and he’s doing that with every opportunity he gets in training and in games.

“He’ll keep doing that, it’s just how he is.

“As a manager, recruiting what people perceive as a second choice goalkeeper, people might not perceive it as exciting but its important and we’ve got it nailed on so far with how he’s been.”

Burge said he is ready for any opportunities that come his way.

“I’m just happy to be out on the pitch,” he said.

“The fans were excellent, the lads were excellent and the manager had it spot on.

“I think personally I did well and it’s just nice to be out there.

“It’s just about being ready.

“I’m loving it here, I’m ready, and hopefully we’ll keep this run going.”

Sunderland are hopeful that McLaughlin will sign a new contract at the club, with his current deal expiring in the summer.

However, Ross said there was no update on that front as the club hierarchy continue takeover talks with an American consortium.