DEADLINE DAY signing Jack Butland continued to build upon his already impressive reputation at the weekend. . . with a man-of-the-match winning performance for loan side Birmingham City, in their 1-1 draw against Charlton Athletic.
The England international produced a series of fine saves to blunt the Addicks front-line in an entertaining affair in South London, before finally being beaten just two minutes from time as defender Yann Kermorgant headed home what appeared to have been the winning goal.
Lee Clark’s side silenced the hosts however, as winger Wade Elliott netted a dramatic stoppage time leveller for the Blues to earn them a share of the spoils, although it was Butland at the centre of attention following the game.
"As Tony Pulis says, I have got the bargain of the century," Birmingham boss Clark said in the post-match press conference.
"He is an exceptional talent, one of the best young talents in Europe and everyday he improves as he has got that desire and determination.
"It won't be long before Jack is pushing Joe Hart to be the number one - and I think Joe knows that.”
Charlton boss Chris Powell was equally as full of admiration for the stopper, adding: “We came across a keeper who was in imperious form.
“He made some really good saves out there, and it is easy to see why he has gone to the Premier League.
“Fair play to him because you can see why so many people have been looking at him, and why he has been bought by Stoke. His decision making, and some of his saves were outstanding; he kept them in the game.”
Elsewhere in the Championship, Rory Delap (Barnsley) and Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion) were both celebrating victory with their new sides, after departing the Britannia Stadium during the January transfer window.
Delap played the full 90 minutes of the Tykes impressive 3-2 victory away at Tony Mowbray’s Middlesbrough; assisting defender Scott Golbourne in the second half with a trademark long-throw.
The win, which was Barnsley’s fourth in the league in five games, still wasn’t enough to edge them out of the relegation zone, but gives them hope of retaining their Championship status having looked certainties for the drop just four weeks ago.
Former England man Upson impressed on his home debut for Brighton and Hove Albion meanwhile, helping to keep fellow promotion hopefuls Hull City at bay in a crucial encounter at the Amex Stadium.
Spaniard Vicente proved to be the match winner for the play-off chasing Seagulls, firing home the decisive strike in the 82nd minute to keep them in seventh spot.
Finally, Maurice Edu starred for Bursaspor in their emphatic 3-0 victory away at Karabukspor in their latest Turkish Super Lig encounter at the weekend.
The United States international, who is on loan with the Green Crocodiles until the end of the campaign, played the duration of the encounter, in which former Potter Tuncay opened the scoring for the visitors with a well taken second half strike.
The result elevates them up into sixth place in the league table; nine points behind leaders Galatasaray, whose squad includes former Chelsea hitman Didier Drogba and Dutch star Wesley Sneijder.