Lee Johnson has urged Remi Matthews to bounce back from his costly mistake when Sunderland take on Doncaster Rovers this weekend.
The Black Cats stopper was responsible for Shrewsbury Town’s first goal in their midweek clash after failing to collect a routine cross from Donald Love.
That set the Wearsiders on the way to defeat which means that Sunderland are now on a run of three matches without a win in the league.
With a play-off six-pointer against Doncaster coming up Johnson has sent a clear message to the former goalkeeper stopper and has urged him to be brave as he looks to bounce back from the criticism.
As quoted by the Northern Echo, Johnson said: “The first part is admitting it and holding your hands up, and they’ve (Matthews and Burge) been good like that.
“But then it’s my job to support the players. Yes, I’ve got to tell them home truths and make sure we demand things, but at the same time, between myself and my coaching staff, we have to accept that goalkeeper is a perilous position. You make one tiny little error and you’re punished.
“Remi’s error was actually a very bold error. I played with David James, who must have dropped 100 of those type of crosses, but at the same time he probably caught 10,000 and set us off attacking. I don’t mind the bold mistakes. I think the reaction to the mistake is important as well – not only from the individual, but also from the team because we are a family and I think you have to create that cause.
“It’s gone now, it’s as simple as that. You can’t be held at gunpoint because of a mistake you’ve made in a football match, particularly as a goalkeeper because it’s the way of life for a goalkeeper. You’ve seen it in the Premier League at the moment – top, top goalkeepers, internationals, really getting scrutinised. It’s just part of the position, and something you’ve got to deal with.”
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It’s vital that Remi Matthews bounces back from that error.
Sunderland are a crucial stage in their season and so it’s essential that the club can cut out the silly mistakes and try to get a consistent run of wins on the board.
Playing as a goalkeeper is obviously a tricky position with regards to how costly mistakes are, but for Matthews it’s time that he stepped up.