Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray raved about goalkeeper Anthony Patterson after the 3-0 victory at Queens Park Rangers last night.
The Lowdown: Important victory
Judging by the scoreline alone, last night’s victory seemed very comfortable, but the Black Cats left it late to put the game beyond doubt, with Jack Clarke firing home a late double after Luke O’Nien opened the scoring in the first half.
The result means Sunderland move up to fifth in the Championship table, inside the play-off places, but it could have been so different if not for Patterson saving Ilias Chair’s penalty when it was still 1-0, and Mowbray has since praised his goalkeeper.
Speaking after the match, the Black Cats manager said: “Patterson has been amazing all season – it [the penalty save] shouldn’t surprise you.
“I genuinely think now that when people take penalties against us, I think he is going to save it. That was an amazing save. He chose his way but he filled the goal with his body and kicked it away.
“Look at how he deals with any long, high balls in the box, he is doing fantastically well. He deserves huge credit in helping the team get the right result tonight.”
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The Verdict: Vital player
It is no wonder the 22-year-old is attracting attention from the likes of Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers, as he has been in fantastic form this season, with Mowbray even suggesting that he has earned a call up to England U21s.
Not only did the shot-stopper save a penalty, but he also made four high claims and managed to win all three of his aerial duels, and he is now in double figures for clean sheets in the second tier this season.
With Sunderland looking to push for a return to the Premier League, Patterson will no doubt be an absolutely vital player, and his manager will be hoping for a similar performance at home to Bristol City this weekend.