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Club News


11 January 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Christian Walton and Ben Roberts.

Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts believes Christian Walton is showing all the right signs as he continues to develop on loan at Wigan Athletic in the Sky Bet Championship.

Walton won a League One winners’ medal last season and has since played every match in the second tier for the Latics, and Roberts praised the 23-year-old for showing continued progress during his loan move.

He said, “He’s played 25 games so far this season and is looking an accomplished Championship goalkeeper. He’s gone past 100 senior approaches and that’s exactly what we want.

“He’s shown a really good level of maturity and he understands what the position is all about now.

“He’s got a great understanding of the pressures that come with the position, and he can deal with the highs and lows really well.”

Walton has worked his way up the tiers of the EFL pyramid, enjoying loan spells at five clubs since 2015, and Roberts understands that the goalkeeper will be desperate to play in the Premier League one day.

“He’s gone from strength to strength with each loan. It’s really important to incrementally raise the level with the amount of pressure— you have to let them find their own pathway at their own speed.

“Everyone wants to play in the Premier League. Butts [David Button] made his Premier League debut only a couple of weeks ago and it took him more than 300 senior games to get there.

“He's shown the right attitude and development throughout his career. He’s got there at 28 and now needs to try and stay there.

“As a goalkeeper, it’s about learning on the way up and then staying at the level you need to be at.”

Roberts understands the pressures of playing at senior level, having forged a 17-year career in the game, and he commented on the importance of positively using pressure to enhance your performance.

“Pressure is what you make it — on the other side of feeling the pressure from the crowd, you’ve also got to thrive off the supporters.

“You’ve got to win games and celebrate with the crowd. But if it’s not going so well, it can be a lonely place as a goalkeeper, with the crowd behind you and everything being shown on TV.

“But you want to make it the other way — you want to thrive off the pressure, and it’s about getting the goalkeepers to understand that and live in the moment.”

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