Jason Steele has revealed the pre-match chat with Mathew Ryan which set him up for his Albion debut.

But he left the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon still not sure whether his most eye-catching save was all his own work.

Steele leapt high to his right to reach for Steve Cook’s looping header late in Albion’s 3-1 win.

He seemed to get fingertips to the ball, although Shane Duffy was right behind him looking to head away from almost underneath the bar.

That followed a sharp block by Steele from a David Brooks volley which went through a crowd of players.

Ryan, who probably would not have played in the cup tie anyway, is away at the Asian Cup but had thoughts of home on Saturday.

Steele said: “He texted me first thing in the morning, wishing me luck.

“Maty is up there as one of the best Premier League keepers, in my opinion.

“I’ve got the utmost respect and hope he does well.

“We’ve got a really tight bond, the three of us (Ryan, Steele and David Button).

“We all believe in ourselves and each other.

“I had a little chat with Maty in the morning and it was really good.”

Steele and Duffy high-fived and hugged briefly once Martin Montoya had completed the clearance as that Cook header was kept at bay.

It took some close scrutiny of the replays to see that Steele got a touch.

His hand and Duffy’s head seemed to get there simultaneously.

The keeper himself said: “I got a little touch but me and Shane weren’t sure.

“We had a little chuckle because I wasn’t sure whether I saved it and he wasn’t sure whether he saved it.

“I think it’s a bit of both and that’s what we are all about. We look after each other and we dig in.”

Steele was pleased with his adjustment to keep out the Brooks effort and added: “It’s what I’ve worked my backside off for, for so many months, and that won’t change.

“I’m still going to work really hard.

“I’m still young, in my opinion, as a goalkeeper.

“I’m determined to keep improving and what will be will be.”

Button has got the nod for the league in Ryan’s absence but Steele was delighted to make his senior debut for the club.

He said: “It was brilliant to be back out there and to be part of that team.

“You’ve got two good Premier League teams going toe to toe and I think we were brilliant.

“We defended manfully throughout and looked dangerous on the counter.

“You’re 2-0 up away from home against an established Premier League team.

“They aren’t going to lie down and let you keep going.

“Once they get the goal back, after midweek (the 2-2 draw at West Ham) some people would have thought ‘here we go again’. But the boys were different class.”