THIRD choice Dean Lyness has received a vote of confidence from Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett as he looks forward to a possible full League Two debut.
Lyness could line-up against Bradford City at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday after Albion’s injury jinx spread to their goalkeeper department.
The 21-year-old summer recruit from Kidderminster Harriers found himself on the bench when a side strain ruled regular No 2 Ross Atkins out of Tuesday’s Staffordshire derby against Port Vale.
And Lyness was thrown into the thick of the action when first choice stopper Stuart Tomlinson came off with a knee injury picked up as he tried to prevent Ben Williamson’s 75th minute equaliser for the high-flying Valiants.
Defending the end packed with the majority of Vale’s 2,000-strong following, Lyness stood up to a nerve-wracking test of his composure as the game spilled into eight minutes of added.
Rowett said: “I’ll admit I was worried at the time but I’ll have no real concerns if Deano has to play against Bradford.
“We had to throw him into a melting pot atmosphere but, full marks to him, I thought he was excellent in the way he coped with the pressure they tried to put him under.”
Lyness was an unused substitute in Albion’s first six games of the season before being given an outing in the second half of the Johnstone Paints Trophy tie at Coventry City.
However, Lyness dropped out of the squad after the signing of Tomlinson reduced Atkins to the role of understudy.
Rowett said: “We’ve said all along that we signed Dean as one for the future, but I will have no fears about playing him on Saturday.
“He was excellent when he came on against Coventry and he’s done well in our reserve team games.
“Sometimes a player gets a chance they don’t expect and it’s up to them to take it.”
However, Rowett has not yet ruled out the possibility of one or both of his senior keepers being available for the Bradford game - despite Tomlinson leaving the Pirelli Stadium on crutches after Tuesday’s game.
The Brewers boss said: “Tommo said he got a bang on his knee and it just locked on him so it will be question of assessing the injury over the next couple of days.
“As for Ross, our physio (James Rowland) says he’s had this type of injury in the past and he’s usually made a quick recovery.
“Again, we’ll just have to wait and see how he progresses.”
BRADFORD will be without top marksman Nahki Wells who scored the only goal against Northampton Town on Tuesday but also picked up his fifth yellow card of the season.
Wells was the player who shattered Albion’s hopes of reaching the fourth round of the Capital One Cup last month.
With the Brewers 2-0 ahead at the Coral Windows Stadium, Wells came off the bench to score twice in the dying minutes to take the tie into extra-time.
The Bamtams went on to score again through Stephen Darby to clinch next week’s trip to Premier League Wigan Athletic.