Definition of a safe pair of hands in English:

a safe pair of hands

phrase

  • 1(in a sporting context) used to refer to someone who is reliable when catching a ball.

    ‘he has a safe pair of hands and made the catch look easy’
    • ‘He is also a very good fielder with a safe pair of hands.’
    • ‘Coel showed he had a safe pair of hands when the embarrassed goalkeeper tossed the gloves into the Stretford End just before he disappeared down the tunnel.’
    • ‘Particularly Pietersen, oddly enough, since he is a fine fielder, an intelligent cricketer and a safe pair of hands.’
    • ‘Traditionally our goalkeepers have been a safe pair of hands but with David James, he is likely to pull of the best save of the tournament and then let a soft one in.’
    • ‘Terry Pearson broke up several threatening attacks and Bentley was once again showing a safe pair of hands in the home goal.’
    1. 1.1 Used to denote someone who is capable, reliable, or trustworthy in the management of a situation.
      ‘they were searching for a safe pair of hands to oversee the running of the lottery’
      • ‘That he is now regarded as a safe pair of hands by Hibs' under-pressure board is a tribute to the way in which he overcame a difficult settling-in period to become the league's longest-serving manager.’
      • ‘In each case he was brought in [to the Central Bank] to be a safe pair of hands during a crisis.’
      • ‘Those who saw him as a safe pair of hands when he succeeded a dispirited Paul Sturrock in August presumably thought the former Aberdeen and St Mirren manager would use such experience to bolster a struggling squad.’
      • ‘Entrusted with a 150 million budget, Sam Raimi is both a safe pair of hands and an inspired, quirky choice to bring the 40-year-old Marvel superhero to the screen.’
      • ‘With solid work like Brassed Off, Little Voice and even Purely Belter behind him, writer-director Mark Herman would appear to be a safe pair of hands in which to entrust your cinema admission fee.’
      • ‘The young cast have grown into their roles and director Chris Columbus displays a confidence won by convincing everyone that he is a safe pair of hands, who will do nothing to betray or disappoint Potter fans.’
      • ‘Among the second echelon, Liam Fox has 10 declared supporters, but his image is of a safe pair of hands in a senior Cabinet position, rather than of a party leader at a time of immense challenge.’
      • ‘In the short term, management will want to install a safe pair of hands in the editor's chair, someone who can pull off the balancing act of both stemming the Mirror's falling circulation and keeping their head down.’
      • ‘A month's contract stretched to three then was extended to the end of the season - giving Wanderers a safe pair of hands to cover for the suspended Jussi Jaaskelainen for the two Easter games.’
      • ‘Regarded as a safe pair of hands, he manages to combine a strong streak of entrepreneurship with a cautious and balanced approach to control and risk.’