KEEPER Christian Walton admits he is working hard to improve with the ball at his feet to boost his chances of kicking on when he returns to Albion.

Walton is on loan at Championship side Blackburn Rovers.

He is one of three loanee Seagulls goalkeepers who had been impressing along with Robert Sanchez (Rochdale) and Carl Rushworth (Worthing).

Albion head coach Graham Potter likes to play a style of football where the keeper helps to start build the attacks from the back.

Walton has not been asked to adopt that style at Blackburn under Tony Mowbray but says he is more confident on the ball thanks to the work he has been putting in off the pitch.

He said: “We don’t play out from the back as much as other teams, which is just the way we play.

“To improve that side of my game is key, especially with the game moving the way it is and a lot more teams are taking goalkeepers on their ability to play with their feet.

“It’s an area I’ve really wanted to improve for the last couple of years, really.

“I feel like I have improved, so I just need to keep going.”

The 24-year-old had been in good form for Rovers this season, keeping ten clean sheets.

Rovers sat tenth in the Championship, just three points off the play-offs, when the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic until at least April 30.

Despite the uncertainty, Walton is hoping to add to his tally of clean sheets if the campaign can be completed.

He said: “I’m delighted, it’s a good achievement for myself and I want to keep doing it for the last nine games and keep as many clean sheets as I can.

“So far I have been really happy with how we have defended and the clean sheets show that.

“It’s good, not just for myself, but for the lads in front of me that are putting their bodies on the line and it’s good for the team.

“It shows how far we have come, really. I want to help the team as much as possible.”

Blackburn manager Mowbray named the same back five in the ten games between the draw at home to Preston in January and the stalemate at home to Swansea at the end of February.

Walton, who has been an ever present in goal, says that stability has been vital.

He said: “It’s helped me massively.

“It has given me a rhythm going into each Saturday game knowing that you’re going to be playing and it’s like for any position really, if you’re a striker and you’re scoring goals, you’re going to get into a rhythm and know where the back of the net is.

“It’s good to have been playing every week and get that consistent run, it’s helped me to develop as a player and I’m learning different things each week.

“Making mistakes is all part of it, so it’s a good experience for myself and any young goalkeeper out on loan will probably say the same.”