ALAN Dunne hailed the performance of David Forde after the Millwall 'keeper made several fine saves in the 2-1 win over Wigan on Saturday.
Forde was in superb form in front of watching Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, who was at The Den to cast his eye over the 33-year-old.
The Lions stopper did not disappoint – although his stunning stop to keep out Leon Barnett's last-gasp header was missed by his international boss, who had made an early exit.
"I thought it was in – he did really well to get there," Dunne said. "It was a fantastic save and just shows the quality that he's got and the form he is in at the moment.
"Fordey knew O'Neill was going to be here – and if he needs a right back, I'm available too! I heard he was gone by the time Fordey made his big save but I'm sure he'll get a DVD."
Dunne and Forde were involved in a nasty second-half collision which left the goalkeeper requiring treatment – and feeling sorry for himself.
"He's my roommate, my pal and my mucker but he had a go at me," Dunne joked. "If I hadn't knocked into him and they'd scored, it would have been a lot worse.
"I would rather give him a clump, the ball doesn't go in and we can sort it out later. Worst case scenario he's got a bleeding lip.
"He was not happy because he was going back to Ireland for a few pints of Guinness, so he might have to drink through a straw!"
Forde is out-of-contract in the summer and has been strongly linked with a move to Celtic, and Dunne admits it would be a huge blow were he to leave.
"He is a big player for us on and off the pitch, he is a big character in the dressing room and he's a Millwall-type player," Dunne said.
"They are hard to find so to let one go would be disappointing, but I think he can play at the next level. His overall game was great."
The Millwall 'keeper was denied a clean sheet by James McArthur's 84th-minute drive into the far corner, which cut the Lions' lead in half and set up a tense finish.
"We have been known to make it hard for ourselves over the years, but in the end I think 2-1 was a fair result," Dunne said.
"We were disappointed with their goal – it didn't look like he kicked the ball properly – and we had to see it out for ten minutes, but I thought we dug in.
"Wigan have a lot of quality players, they pass the ball really well but we felt comfortable at times. Our back four were excellent and we counter-attacked well."
Strikers Steve Morison and Jermaine Easter scored a goal a piece to down the Latics and Dunne believes the duo have an important part to play for the Lions this season.
"Morison has got a lot of ability, he just needs an arm around his shoulder now and then," Dunne said. "He likes to be the main man up there and, when he is, he can be electric.
"He plays on the shoulder, he is quick, fit and has shown in the last two games the kind of quality he can produce. We need him to be doing that all season – if he does, we'll be alright.
"His head hasn't been down but he hasn't been playing, so it is difficult. He had only been coming on here and there, and Morison is the type of player who wants to start.
"When he feels like the main man and everyone is looking at him, he's unplayable.
"Jermaine is a fantastic player with a fantastic work ethic. He works so hard in training when he's not in the team that he deserves that kind of glory.
"He hasn't played a lot but when he has come on he has always been effective. I think a lot of Jermaine."