Sunderland stopper Simon Mignolet won't be taking his foot of the gas at the Stadium of Light after securing the No.1 spot under Steve Bruce.

The 23-year-old Belgian took his opportunity with the Black Cats after Craig Gordon suffered an injury last season, making 26 appearances for the first team originally in the absence of the Scot, and then as his direct replacement.

Despite the arrival of Republic of Ireland international keeper Keiren Westwood, Mignolet has retained his place as the first choice on Wearside, starting all four Barclays Premier League games so far this term.

And whilst the results for the team haven't gone the way the fans would have hoped thus far, Mignolet believes he continues to learn between the sticks and is gaining some valuable experience that can only help in the future.

"With the first season in the Premier League you always hope to learn as much as possible. Luckily I managed to play a lot of games and gain a lot of experience and confidence. Now, in the second year, I have to prove myself again," Mignolet told SAFC TV.


 

"When you come in from abroad as a young goalkeeper people always expect you to be on the bench all the time. Luckily I got my chance and I'm looking forward to trying to progress even more.

"I've never really had a long spell on the bench since I started playing at 17, but I know things turn very quickly; it's up to me to keep working hard to keep my place. If you show one good thing in training one day, you have to keep showing it every day. I'm learning all the time, in every game and training session."

Aware of the challenge posed by both Gordon and Westwood, the former Sint-Truiden insists he can only focus on his own game in a quest to keep the No.1 jersey, and hopes to keep doing enough to persuade the manager to stick by him.

"Competition is good but the only thing I can do is look after myself and play as well as I can every week," concluded Mignolet.

"I can't worry about anything else. Hopefully that is enough for the gaffer."

Topics:
#Sunderland
#Internationals
#Simon Mignolet
#Football
#Premier League
#Steve Bruce
#Keiren Westwood
#Craig Gordon