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Poyet Feels He Can Count On Stopper

The murky waters of Sunderland's January goalkeeper plans have just been muddied more.

Laurence Griffiths

Sunderland's ever-confusing goalkeeper situation took another twist when Gus Poyet openly hailed Vito Mannone's reliability between the sticks.

Keiren Westwood's injury will force the Black Cat's hand in the transfer market this month, with a new goalkeeper appearing certain to come in. Whether it will be someone to cover for, compete with, or immediately replace the in-form Italian is completely unknown, though.

At various points, Sunderland have been linked with names who would fall into each category.

However, speaking to the official Sunderland website, Poyet had nothing but praise for Mannone, who himself has been linked with a move to Manchester United.

He’s been great, I think a goalkeeper needs to play to get the confidence, he needs to be aggressive and when we needed him he was there for us.

It’s always nice to have the feeling that you can count on your goalkeeper, which is a very difficult position on the pitch.

Mannone, for me, was Sunderland's best summer business. I've gone from not even wanting him to sign to being a bit worried that he only signed a two-year deal. Football can be amazing like that.

Regardless of who arrives, hopefully the position is now very much Mannone's to lose. No one can cay he hasn't earned that.