Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes has praised stand-in goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, after the German shot stopper saved a penalty to secure his side's victory over Stuttgart at the weekend.
Injury to German international Manuel Neuer has seen Ulreich step between the posts for the past few weeks. Ulreich, predominantly a number two, has been solid since stepping up, and at the weekend saved a penalty in the dying minutes from Stuttgart player Chadrac Akolo to give his side all three points.
Speaking after the game, Heynckes was full of praise for his goalkeeper, stating that the German has become a 'guarantor' for their success, as reported by ESPN.
"Since I came back, Sven has continually and positively developed. He has become a guarantor for our success, not making a single mistake that has led to us conceding a goal.
VAR awards Stuttgart a late, late penalty, but former player Sven Ulreich saves it to hand Bayern the win. The Bundesliga is kinda good.— Kevijn (@VoetbalKev) December 16, 2017
"He's gained the team's respect and has become even stronger after working with our goalkeeping coach Tony Tapalovic. He is confident and, it goes without saying, I have faith in him.
"He showed outstanding reactions as early as the seventh minute getting down low to his left to save [from Akolo]."
The Bayern boss went on to state that Ulreich has grown since coming into the side, and that the absence of Neuer has made the former Stuttgart man a better player.
Sven Ulreich has been voted as the fans’ Player of the Month! With 19.2 percent of the vote to November’s crown!— Bayern mania (@Bayern_mania) December 7, 2017
Ulreich: "Being able to play week in, week out is even more important for a goalkeeper than for an outfield player. That way you grow more,” pic.twitter.com/gGbYYWpI2m
Heynckes added: "You can tell when a player is confident and more certain of his ability, and then he can develop even more with hard work.
"And that is undoubtedly what has happened, he has become a very good goalkeeper and, in this phase when Manuel Neuer is injured, he is worth his weight in gold to us."
Bayern secured their third 1-0 win in a row against Stuttgart. They sit top, 11 points ahead of Schalke 04 and next up for the Bavarian's is a tricky test against Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal on Wednesday, which is their last competitive game of 2017.