Brighton boss Chris Hughton believes David Button’s debut clean sheet “will do him the world of good” as he attempts to fill the void left by Mat Ryan.
Goalkeeper Button, signed from Fulham during the summer, made his maiden Premier League appearance as Albion beat Everton 1-0 on Saturday.
First-choice keeper Ryan, who been ever-present in the top flight since arriving from Valencia in June 2017, could be unavailable until early February due to his involvement with Australia at the Asian Cup.
Button was selected ahead of Jason Steele by Hughton against the Toffees and made a handful of saves, including turning a Richarlison effort onto a post.
“He’s another one I’m delighted for because, although he’s a very experienced goalkeeper, it’s never easy when you’re coming in at this stage of the season and following Maty Ryan, who’s done so well for us,” Hughton said of Button.
“It wasn’t an easy decision because I’ve got two goalkeepers who are really pushing.
“But probably his experience managed to get him the nod (over Steele).
“It’s great for him to come into this first game and, not only be on a winning team, but also a clean sheet and that will do him the world of good.”
Button’s previous league appearance came more than a year ago, a 3-1 Sky Bet Championship defeat for Fulham at Brentford last December.
The 29-year-old survived a first-half fumble to help Albion to victory at the Amex Stadium.
Dutch forward Jurgen Locadia claimed the only goal, turning to fire home from close range in the 59th minute and end Brighton’s four-game winless run.
It was also the Seagulls’ first clean sheet since October 27 and coincided with Hughton being able to select his first-choice centre-back pairing of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy for the first time in five games following suspensions.
“Pleased to have the partnership back but I certainly would put the clean sheet down to the team performance,” added Hughton.
“I thought the two of them were good again.”
Everton have now lost four of their last seven top-flight fixtures, winning only once.
Toffees manager Marco Silva admits his team need to work on consistency.
“It’s a challenge for us. We had a very good run before the game against Liverpool (a 1-0 loss on December 2) and after that we had a bad run,” said the Portuguese.
“We had a fantastic reaction last game (a 5-1 win at Burnley on Boxing Day) and of course we expected a different afternoon for us (at Brighton).
“We have to be more consistent as a team, not up and down in some performances and some results as well.
“It will be an aim for us to achieve that in the new year.”