Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: Great Dane Shows Bite; Pools Notes

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: Great Dane Shows Bite; Pools Notes

Article excerpt

Byline: By ADAM STEEL

DANNY Wilson today paid tribute to Jan Budtz for the Dane's fine form in goal with Hartlepool this season.

The former Doncaster keeper had a shaky start to life at Victoria Park when he allowed a weak Shola Ameobi shot to beat him on his debut against Newcastle in pre-season.

But free transfer signing Budtz has proved a sound investment ever since, growing in stature week by week and making the No1 shirt his own ahead of fellow new boy Arran Lee-Barrett.

The towering 28-year-old has filled the vacancy created by Dimi Konstantopoulos' summer departure for Coventry and impressed again last week despite Pools' 2-1 reverse at Nottingham Forest.

"Jan was fantastic and commanded his box brilliantly at the City Ground," said manager Wilson.

"Some quality balls come in from them - Kris Commons has got great quality, as well as Neil Lennon and Chris Cohen and people like that.

"They put balls on a sixpence for them at times and they are difficult to defend.

"But Jan came and plucked things out of the air for us, which you want from your goalkeeper.

"When you have got the stature of Jan it does help a little bit as well but he has been excellent, his all-round game has come on.

"He is growing in confidence and it was disappointing he came off with a defeat at Forest, but it certainly wasn't because of his performance, that's for sure."

While Wilson is full of praise for Budtz, he has warned him he cannot afford to slack off with Arran Lee-Barrett waiting in the wings and ready to pounce if his performances dip.

The ex-Coventry shot-stopper has only started twice this season - the opening day defeat at Luton and Tuesday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy rout of Lincoln - but Wilson still rates him highly.

"Arran is a very good keeper as well, bear in mind. …

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