RR: So, Lee Burge. What can you tell us about his time as Coventry’s first choice keeper?
GB: He had his moments where are fans idolised him. In fairness to him, when it came to big games he turned up and made some crucial saves but particularly last season, he was prone to errors and as a result his relationship deteriorated with our supporters.
Nonetheless, I personally think he was a solid enough keeper for us during the period he was our number one, although he never really faced any competition behind him.
RR: What sort of goalkeeper is he?
GB: He’s a brilliant shot stopper. From any distance he’s a top keeper when it comes to making saves. He is however, very limited aside from that. He does not fit the model of the modern keeper who is capable of playing out from the back. I guess you could he’s more traditional, although his commanding of his area leaves a lot to be desired.
RR: Why do you think the club allowed his contract to expire? Was it the right time to part ways?
GB: As I say, his performances last season were not good enough and he cost us an awful lot of points from his mistakes and I think it got to a point where the fans had lost a great deal of trust in him, and therefore with his contract running out it made sense for us to change our approach.
RR: Burge will come in at Sunderland as able backup to Jon McLaughlin, but do you see him pushing the big man for his first team spot?
GB: Personally, I would have expected Burge to move on and become a number one elsewhere as he’s got the potential to be a solid keeper if he works on his presence in his own box as well as his ability to come and claim crosses.
On the basis of it, he’s a good keeper. Perhaps having to settle as being second choice may provide him with the challenge to improve and claim that number one shirt, as he’s definitely capable of that.
RR: Sunderland have a good history when it comes to goalies. How do you think he’ll do?
GB: It’s hard to tell how he’ll do. As if he shows the form like he did in the 17/18 season, your fans will love him. However if he remains his shaky and error prone self of last year, you may be in trouble. It’s a gamble, but for your sake I hope it pays off.
RR: Overall, how do you view this particular piece of business by Sunderland?
GB: Given the fact he is a free agent, it has to be viewed as a shrewd bit of business given that he was our number one keeper and we finished just outside the play-offs.
However, some of the reason we failed to reach the play-offs is down to some of his errors. So, as I say, it’s a signing that could go two ways, but if you’ve signed him as an understudy then it’s a great move for you, not so much for him.