Nottingham Forest midfielder Ryan Yates has thrown his backing behind goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon in an interview with the Nottingham Post.
The 21-year-old believes that the big Romanian’s ability to make hard saves look easy occasionally works against him.
Yates made his first Championship start on Saturday and was named Man of the Match following an assured performance.
Pantilimon was signed from Watford during the summer and has been an ever-present for the Reds in the league this season.
The 32-year-old has come in for criticism for certain performances from the club’s supporters.
Of late, however, his form has picked up. On Saturday against Brentford, he made several top saves to keep the in-form Bees at bay.
Yates is seemingly baffled by the stick he gets and spoke of his admiration for the ex-Manchester City custodian.
The midfielder told the Nottingham Post: “I rate Pantilimon so much. He makes ridiculous saves look so easy. I don’t think he always gets the credit he deserves, like quite a few players.”
The academy graduate does have a point when it comes to certain players not getting the credit which they deserve.
The Forest fan base is an extremely expectant bunch of supporters and on occasions can be guilty of expecting too much from players.
Pantilimon hasn’t been without fault this season, although it is fair to say that Forest have had far worse goalkeepers in recent years.
When a goalkeeper is so tall, the consensus from the outside looking in is that absolutely everything should be stopped.
Football doesn’t quite work like that, however.
Yates sees the imposing figure of Pantilimon strutting his stuff in training each day and is extremely fond of the stopper.
He continued: “Honestly a few times in training I have seen lads put it right in the top corner and he just plucks it out of the sky like it is nothing.
“I think he is a top keeper; he has been fantastic for us all season.”
Pantilimon will keep goal for the Reds in tonight’s game against West Bromwich Albion.
Yates, however, will hope to have done enough on Saturday during his debut to keep hold of his shirt for the trip to The Hawthorns.