Sunderland’s goalkeeping coach Lee Butler has backed Anthony Patterson to reach the top of the game after impressing him in training.
The 19-year-old has been a regular with the Black Cats’ U23 team so far this season and has been particularly impressive.
Patterson is yet to make his first team debut but has been named on the bench a number of times so far this term, including for the League One victory over Southend United.
With Jon McLaughlin still away on international duty, Patterson could be named once again for the FA Cup first round replay with Gillingham on Tuesday night.
Sunderland’s goalkeeping coach has only worked with Patterson for a number of weeks since linking up with Phil Parkinson at the Stadium Of Light, but says that he’s already seen enough from Anthony Patterson to be convinced of his quality.
Speaking to the Northern Echo, Lee Butler said: “I’ve really enjoyed working with him.
“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 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.
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“He’s a bit quiet in games, so I’m getting him to talk a bit more. It’s not natural to him like it was with (Jordan) Pickford. He naturally 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.”“He’s doing everything I ask of him.
Jon McLaughlin is undoubtedly Sunderland’s number one goalkeeper, but Anthony Patterson is certainly knocking on the door.
The Black Cats are looking to bring through the next generation of potential first team players and the 19-year-old certainly looks like someone who could make that step up.
The next step for him is to get some first team football, but there’s no doubt that Patterson will be motivated after receiving such praise from goalkeeping coach Lee Butler.