Forster on standby for Norwich City debut

PUBLISHED: 12:14 28 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:27 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster is standing by for his Norwich City debut after joining the club on a month's loan from Newcastle United. The Canaries have snapped up the 21-year-old because Ben Alnwick faces a fitness test before tomorrow's League One match at Hartlepool (3pm) after suffering a badly gashed face in Monday's Carling Cup home defeat by Sunderland.

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster is standing by for his Norwich City debut after joining the club on a month's loan from Newcastle United.

The Canaries have snapped up the 21-year-old because Ben Alnwick faces a fitness test before tomorrow's League One match at Hartlepool (3pm) after suffering a badly gashed face in Monday's Carling Cup home defeat by Sunderland.

Manager Paul Lambert confirmed he had recruited Forster, who has just completed a month's loan at Bristol Rovers and will meet up with the City squad in the North East.

Forster was also on loan at Stockport last season.

“I saw him play a few times last season and he did terrific at Stockport and he's done well at Bristol Rovers. He's a big lad,” said Lambert. “He knows the league, knows what it's about.”

With Alnwick, on loan from Tottenham, doubtful, Lambert is reluctant to push 18-year-old Declan Rudd in for his senior debut.

He said: “Ben's got a test tomorrow, so I had to get somebody in and if Ben doesn't come through that, we've only got Declan, who's not had any games. So we had to act really, really quickly.”

He said it would be difficult for Rudd “to get thrown into that environment when he's not played any games”.

He added: “He's done great in training. He's been training with the first team since I've been here and he's looked really assured, but match situations are a bit different.”

Alnwick, 22, was injured in a collision with Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell during Monday's 4-1 defeat.

“He looks OK. Tottenham want him to do some sort of test tomorrow so if he failed that we were in a bit of bother,” said Lambert.

“I think the surgeon's done a brilliant job. I think he's a lucky lad. I think if it was an inch or two higher his eye was going to be in trouble. Luckily enough, he's OK. He said he's fine to play.”

Forster's arrival casts further doubt on the future of Australian goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos, who was dropped after the 7-1 defeat by Colchester on the opening day of the season.

Said Lambert: “Michael's been great roundabout the place. I never had an ounce of a problem. But my job is to make this club as strong as it can be.”

Asked if Theoklitos still had a future with City, Lambert said: “At the minute he does. I spoke to him when I first came in and when I put Declan on the bench against Wycombe, I had a chat with Michael beforehand. It's just when people come in in your position, you tend to think 'I am 15th in line' so it's up to you to fight to get into it.

“From what I've seen in training he's been fine. The Colchester game doesn't matter to me one bit, because I wasn't part of Norwich at that time and I never knew Michael. You tend not to pay too much attention to the opposition.”

Forster made 14 reserve team appearances for Newcastle during 2006-07, earning a two-year professional contract at St James' Park.

He was on the bench for United's UEFA Cup match in Frankfurt in November, 2006, and was in the Newcastle squad for a number of Premier League games.

After good performances in the reserves throughout 2007-08, he signed a new deal keeping him at Newcastle until 2010.

Forster joined Stockport for a one month loan spell in October 2008, making his senior debut in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Bury. He subsequently made six League One appearances for County, keeping three clean sheets.

This season he joined Bristol Rovers on a one-month deal, which has now ended and enables him to come to Carrow Road after making four appearances and keeping two clean sheets for Paul Trollope's side.

Lambert is definitely without two midfielders tomorrow - Owain Tudur Jones (calf strain) and Matthew Gill (knee injury).

Defender Michael Spillane in not available because of a one-match ban for his sending-off against Sunderland.

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