Sunderland's new goalkeeping coach on why Lee Burge can thrive in the top tiers and why Jon McLaughlin will bounce back
New goalkeeping coach Lee Butler believes Lee Burge has the capability to shine at Championship level and beyond.
The former Coventry City stopper was brought in to compete with Jon McLaughlin in the summer and has made a major impression, likely to take the jersey when league action returns next weekend.
Butler, who has rejoined Phil Parkinson after working with him at Bolton Wanderers and Bradford City, has been impressed with what he has seen from a goalkeeper he’s admired for a number of years.
“I've known Lee for a while,” he said.
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“I know his agent so over the years I've watched him and I've always been really impressed with him.
“He's got all the attributes to be a top keeper and that's what I said to him, he's got the capabilities to be a Championship goalkeeper for me and then it's can you push on again from there?
“He's very calm in the goal.
“That's a big thing you look at a staff, you don't like to see a nervous goalkeeper.
“He makes good saves but good decisions as well and can kick a ball, so that ticks a lot of boxes.”
Parkinson himself has said it is too early to establish who is first choice, and Butler, who worked with McLaughlin at Valley Parade, says the Scot will bounce back from his error against Gillingham.
He is confident that the competition will drive both goalkeepers on.
“Jon is quite a strong character and he'll bounce back from it,” Butler said.
“He had a particularly good season last year and things haven't quite gone as well this year.
“When you do make a couple of mistakes, people do kind of jump on other goals conceded that might not be his mistakes.
“That's the beauty or not beauty of football.
“He's strong, he's an international goalkeeper and I'm sure he'll be fine.
“They're nice fellas, Jon and Lee.
“I wasn't here when Phil made his decision to go with Lee a few weeks ago but from what the gaffer has said, Jon was very good about it, disappointed but very supportive of Lee.
“They're good lads, hungry for the shirt who go about things the right way.”