Nigel Spink backs Jed Steer for bright Aston Villa future

The 22-year-old goalkeeper made his Premier League debut in Sunday's 1-0 home defeat to Burnley.

Former Aston Villa goalkeeper Nigel Spink has backed third-choice stopper Jed Steer for bright future at the club.

Spink was speaking to the Express and Star after seeing Steer make his Premier League debut in Sunday’s 1-0 final-day defeat to Burnley at Villa Park.

A groin injury suffered by Shay Given prompted manager Tim Sherwood to hand the 22-year-old keeper his first top-flight start over Brad Guzan, as Danny Ings’ well-placed header six minutes in proved the difference between the two sides.

While a nervous start saw him slice a simple back pass out for a throw, the ex-Norwich trainee recovered to deliver an overall composed performance on the afternoon, with the highlight being a fine second-half save to keep out Burnley winger George Boyd’s one-on-one shot.

The former England Under-19 international had made just three cup appearances for the club prior to the Clarets clash, having reunited with ex-Canaries boss Paul Lambert at Villa in the summer of 2013, but Spink was impressed with what he saw on the weekend.

“I thought Jed did really well, considering his lack of first-team football,” the 1982 European Cup winner said. “He must have been a bit nervous coming into the team – it was a pressure game for him, but he looked confident.

“He’s trying to impress the manager and he has shown Tim what he can do in the future if he’s needed.”

While Steer himself was disappointed not to mark his Premier League bow with a positive result, the keeper, who had loan spells at Doncaster Rovers and Yeovil Town earlier this season, added that the experience has made him determined to earn further first-team chances moving forward.

"I've never experienced that type of game or atmosphere before,” he told the club’s official website after the match. "I've been out on loan but that's nothing like it was out there.

"That's what I want more of. I want to be playing more here.

"I know I'll have to bide my time though. Hopefully I can get some more games out on loan and come back at some stage and kick on again.”

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