DEAN Lyness is hopeful his record of keeping clean sheets will help him nail down the No 1 shirt at Burton Albion.
The 22-year-old keeper has played second fiddle to the on-loan Jordan Pickford this season, but Sunderland have recalled their man, giving Lyness a chance.
He kept three clean sheets in the last three Brewers matches – and is hungry for more.
“I’ve got the shirt at the minute,” he said. “My focus is on playing well, week in, week out and making it hard for the gaffer to take that shirt off me.
“Clean sheets is all you focus on as a goalkeeper when you come into games.
“You want to keep that ball out the net, it doesn’t matter how you do it.
“Clean sheets is what you’re in the game for as a goalkeeper.
“It’s been a great week results-wise and three clean sheets is a bonus.
“We’re on a good run.”
Albion have won their last three games 1-0 to sit a point off top spot in League Two.
Lyness is now battling for a starting place with Aston Villa loanee Benji Siegrist, who arrived at the Pirelli Stadium last week.
“I just try to focus on pushing my way into the fold and now I’m there hopefully I can keep hold of that shirt,” said Lyness.
“The more games we win, and the more clean sheets I keep, the better – that’s what I want to do.
“There was a clean sheet at Accrington as well (when Lyness replaced Pickford due to injury).
“We pride ourselves on trying to keep a solid base.
“The more clean sheets we can keep, the better.
“We’ve always got goals in us, so if you keep a clean sheet and score a goal, you win the game - simple as that.”
The Brewers are looking in a good position to push for a top-seven place come the end of the season and Lyness is hoping they keep up the momentum heading into the busy Christmas and New Year period.
“We’re giving ourselves a chance,” he said. “We’re at the right end of the table and if we can make sure we’re there at the turn of the year we’ve always got a chance.
“If you can take momentum into Christmas and the New Year period, you never know what can happen.
“We’re taking it a game at a time.”
Lyness is now looking forward to Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Fleetwood Town, where the Brewers won 3-2 earlier in the season.
“It’s FA Cup week and there’s always a different buzz around the place,” he said. “We know we’re only one win away from potentially playing against some top players.
“We’ve won once there already this season so I don’t see there’s anything to stop us winning there again.
“We’ve got the quality to score goals going forward and a good base at the back to build from.”