Steve McClaren graciously praised Jack Butland after the goalkeeper thwarted Newcastle to earn Stoke City a draw at St James’ Park.
The 22-year-old produced four superb saves to ensure the Potters left the North East with a point at the end of a tense 0-0 draw.
McClaren, who handed Butland six loan appearances last season during his spell as Derby boss, said: “Goalkeepers are there to win you points and that’s what Jack Butland does.
“He did it for us a few times at Derby last year – I remember very well – and he’s done it again for Stoke today. I have seen him in other games.
“You need a top-class goalkeeper to get you points and Stoke have got one, and certainly England have.”
Newcastle were repeatedly thwarted by Butland who, having needed the help of a post to keep out Aleksandar Mitrovic’s first-half header, produced four increasingly impressive saves after the break to repel two efforts from Moussa Sissoko and one each from Ayoze Perez and substitute Jamaal Lascelles.
However, Stoke boss Mark Hughes, with tongue somewhat in cheek, played down his goalkeeper’s heroics.
He said: “He made a couple of saves, but that’s what he’s paid to do. I didn’t think Newcastle were peppering his goal, to be perfectly honest.
“But when we needed him in key moments in the game, that’s when your goalkeeper has got to come to the fore, and he certainly did that.
“His best save was when Sissoko burst through – he spread himself really well – and then a couple of things he needed to do with a corner as well, which is pretty basic stuff for Jack and keepers of his quality.
“Yes, he had to make an impact and he has been able to do that.”