Aston Villa boss Remi Garde lavishes praise on Mark Bunn ahead of Leicester clash

Rémi Garde

The 31-year-old goalkeeper made his first Premier League appearance since May 2013 in Tuesday night's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace as Brad Guzan was left on the bench.

After a calm display in Tuesday night’s 1-0 home victory over Crystal Palace, Mark Bunn looks set to be given the chance to establish himself as Aston Villa’s first-choice goalkeeper.

The former Norwich City man kept his place over the under-fire Brad Guzan for the visit of Alan Pardew’s side after starting Saturday’s 1-1 FA Cup third round draw at Wycombe Wanderers, and while he was forced into just one straightforward save on the night, he did seem to command his area and organise the defence with a great deal more confidence than his American counterpart has so far this season.

Manager Remi Garde refused to reveal after the match whether the change would be a permanent one, but with Guzan enduring increasing criticism from fans for his error-strewn performances, his latest comments to the club’s official website suggest that Bunn could be in line for an extended spell between the posts.

Speaking about the 31-year-old summer signing ahead of Saturday’s clash with high-flying Leicester City at Villa Park, the Frenchman said: "I will decide on the goalkeeper for this weekend.

"I was pleased with Mark's performance on Tuesday. It's the way he behaves too - in that it's not only about the saves you make when you are in this position.

"It's also the confidence and calm you can transmit to the team. I was pleased with Mark for that."

Bunn originally joined Villa on a two-year deal in July after being released by Norwich, having made 31 total appearances during his three seasons at Carrow Road while backing up John Ruddy.

The former Blackburn Rovers stopper was expected to fill the same role with the claret and blues in the wake of Shay Given’s departure for Stoke City, but Guzan’s continuing struggles have since prompted fans to call for him to be handed an extended run in the side.

Whether he is a long-term option between the posts remains to be seen, but if he is handed another start against Leicester and impresses, then Garde’s reported desire to bring in a new No. 1 during the January transfer window may not be so strong anymore.

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