Boston United’s on-loan Sunderland stopper Joel Dixon is enjoying learning from Premier League stoppers Vito Mannone and Costel Pantilimon

Joel Dixon.
Joel Dixon.

Keeper Joel Dixon hopes that his training sessions with Sunderland’s Premier League stoppers can help him imitate their nerves of steel.

The 20-year-old is currently on loan at Boston United, but he spends his days training with the Black Cats’ under 21 side.

However, on the occasions he works with Sunderland’s top two keepers - Vito Mannone and Costel Pantilimon - he says just looking on is a learning curve.

“It’s good watching them, even in training,” Dixon said.

“They’re quick. I’ve been training with them quite a few times.

“I get tips from watching them, they’re so composed.

“And the way they prepare for games, they don’t show any nerves.

“They might have them inside - but they don’t let it show.”

Last season Dixon saw a loan spell at Workington cut short after just one match - as he took his place on the Black Cats’ bench for their Capital One Cup victory against Southampton.

Back then, a year ago last week, an injury to former keeper Keiran Westwood saw Mannone handed a place in the starting line-up.

And with Sunderland’s third-choice keeper Jordan Pickford cup-tied following a spell with Burton Albion, Dixon was recalled to join the first-team set-up.

“It was a class experience,” Dixon said.

“Although you’re sitting on the bench, it’s a completely diferent atmosphere, it’s totally different to what I’m used to.”

Dixon added that having former Sunderland under 21 teammate Liam Marrs in the United set-up is helping him settle at the club.