Thomas Tuchel has explained his decision to start Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal against Newcastle, but confirmed Edouard Mendy remained his number one.
Kepa was handed his first League appearance under Tuchel following a stunning display in the FA Cup against Barnsley on Thursday, where he produced a clean sheet.
Meanwhile, Mendy conceded only once in four games since the German took charge, an own goal from Antonio Rudiger, but was left out against Steve Bruce’s men as the coach confirmed he wanted to help the Spaniard find some rhythm.
“We need a strong Kepa in our squad,” Tuchel told Sky Sports. “He had a good game in the cup so we decided to give him another match to build up a little bit of rhythm, confidence and to trust him, because he did very well.
“At the same time, we can give Edou the chance to mentally recover because it is a demanding position mentally and concentration-wise so with one decision we have both advantages.”
Following the 2-0 win, Tuchel confirmed that he wanted to give Kepa a run in the team but that Mendy was ahead of him in the pecking order.
“Edou is the number one, this is clear,” Tuchel told Sky Sports. “It was clear before the game and it stays like this.
“I am happy Kepa continued with a second clean sheet. It was the moment to let him feel the rhythm and build up his confidence.
“It was clear before that we hoped for the best performance, but Edou will be in goal from now on as he recovered physically and mentally and right now, he is the number one.”