Lee Grant: Stoke City chairman Peter Coates delighted by goalkeeper's impact

Lee Grant
Lee Grant began his career with Derby before spells at Burnley (twice), Oldham and Sheffield Wednesday

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates says the signing of goalkeeper Lee Grant has turned into a "great story".

Grant, 33, joined on a six-month loan from Championship club Derby County on transfer deadline day in August to cover for the injured Jack Butland.

In his first taste of the Premier League, he has conceded only twice in the Potters' current four-game unbeaten run and kept back-to-back clean sheets.

"He's put in some great performances," Coates, 78, told BBC Radio Stoke.

Grant's impact - in only four appearances - has especially pleased Coates given the keeper's lack of top-flight experience, something that made his signing a bit of a surprise to some.

"Yes it did, me included," said Coates. "But he's done remarkably well.

"He's come in and had an opportunity to play at a higher level and he must be as delighted as we are - it's a great story."

As for Butland, Coates is delighted to see the 23-year-old back in light training after seven months out with an ankle injury, picked up playing for England against Germany in March.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed because we've had a few false dawns with him," said Coates.

"Let's hope he'll be playing again soon - we're hopeful it's finally on the mend."

Despite making a poor start to the season, during which Stoke took only one point from their first five Premier League games, Coates was not overly concerned.

And their current run of two draws - including a point at Manchester United - and two wins in a row have lifted Mark Hughes' side to 16th in the table.

"We had a few poor performances but I always thought we were a bit better than our results," added Coates.

"They (Hughes and his coaching staff) were always convinced we'd be okay and never lost the belief.

"We've had four consecutive good games now - it's encouraging and we should now be playing with plenty of confidence."

Peter Coates (left)
Peter Coates (left) first got involved with Stoke City when he became majority shareholder in 1989

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