Dillon Phillips is a better goalkeeper than he was at the start of the season, says Lee Bowyer, and the Charlton boss insists he’ll get games if he continues to impress.

The 23-year-old, who replaces Jed Steer after he was recalled by parent club Aston Villa, featured in the Addicks’ 2-1 win over Walsall on New Year’s Day.

He pulled off several superb stops as the hosts began to tire in the closing stages, being described as “outstanding” after his first league start since September.

Steer was brought back by Villa after goalkeeper Orjan Nyland suffered an injury in training, while new signing Lovre Kalinic was ineligible to play against Queens Park Rangers.

That left 34-year-old Mark Bunn the only available option, and Steer would play his first game back since returning during a 2-2 draw with QPR.

Bowyer now hopes Phillips can replicate the performance he described as “outstanding” against Walsall in Charlton’s upcoming games – starting with Sunderland.

READ: Charlton transfer targets could be signed before Sunderland clash

Describing how he found out Steer had been recalled, he said: “I just got a phone call from the manager [Dean Smith] and he said that one of their 'keepers had got injured in training and, unfortunately, they're going to have to call him back.

“We did think we had him until at least the end of January but that's football, you know? That's the way loans work. It is what it is.

“Jed had done well when he was here. I said that to him, I called him and I said, 'Thanks for all your hard work and your help to get us where we are today'.

“But obviously it wasn't a nice phone call, eating your breakfast on a Sunday morning and you've just lost your 'keeper. Especially when you just lost your captain [Jason Pearce] a few hours before.

“It was disappointing losing Jed but Dil's [Dillon Phillips] come in today and I thought he was outstanding.

“I don't know if Dil will agree with this but, me personally, I think Dillon is a better 'keeper now than when he started the season.

“He's better with his feet, he's a better all-round [goalkeeer] - for me, from what I see every day. Day to day.”

READ: Player ratings from Charlton's New Year's Day win over Walsall

Pearce, who is expected to be out for some time, is currently walking with a boot after picking up an ankle injury during Charlton’s defeat to Barnsley.

Meanwhile, Ben Reeves is also suspected to be injured after coming off in the win against Walsall.

The news increases Bowyer’s selection headache as the games have come thick and fast for his team – with the hosting of Sunderland capping off a gruelling three games in seven days.