Worthy hopes Green will keep it clean

PUBLISHED: 06:30 24 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:14 14 September 2010

Nigel Worthington is hoping that Robert Green will have a double cause for celebration at the weekend. First and foremost he wants a third successive clean sheet from his goalkeeper - and another three points for his side - when the Canaries take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park tomorrow afternoon.

Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington is hoping that Robert Green will have a double cause for celebration at the weekend.

First and foremost he wants a third successive clean sheet from his goalkeeper - and another three points for his side - when the Canaries take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park tomorrow afternoon.

But Worthington is also keeping his fingers crossed for some more good news the following evening when England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson will be naming his squad for next Wednesday's friendly against Uruguay at Anfield.

Green has been a regular in the national set-up for the best part of two years now - and if he retains his place for the opening World Cup warm-up fixture then it would be another significant step towards booking his ticket for Germany.

Worthington believes the City keeper deserves another call-up - and would be extremely disappointed if his big rival Chris Kirkland got in ahead of him after spending another spell on the sidelines.

“I think Robert deserves to be in there on his overall performance,” he said. “It's getting near crunch time from England's point of view where the manager will be really trying to nail down the 22 he is going to take. If everything goes well thereafter this could be a little indicator of the group that might go to Germany.

“As far as the goalkeepers are concerned, I believe it's three from four. I think Paul Robinson and David James will go and I think the decision will be between Green and Kirkland.

“The situation with Green is that he is always fit. The situation with Kirkland, unfortunately, is that he picks up a few knocks. And he is not playing at the moment.”

The on-loan Liverpool keeper started the season as Albion's No. 1 but picked up a rib injury in October and has only just returned to full fitness. He has played a couple of games since the turn of the year - both in the FA Cup - but has failed to oust Poland star Tomasz Kuszczak from Bryan Robson's preferred starting line-up and admitted recently that his World Cup hopes were hanging by a thread.

So, if Green stays fit and continues to turn out good performances for the Canaries in the Championship, then there's every chance he will be on the plane to Germany, especially if he gets the call he is hoping for at the weekend.

Remaining on an international theme, Worthington also had words of encouragement for Gary Doherty at yesterday's weekly press conference.

The big centre-half was a surprise omission when new Republic of Ireland boss Steve Staunton named his squad for next week's friendly against Sweden at Lansdowne Road. But Worthington believes Doherty will be back in the fold before too long if he maintains his current level of performances for the Canaries

“I was a little bit surprised when I heard the news about Gary,” he said. “But it's Steve Staunton's first match in charge and it is his prerogative to choose the players he wants. All I have said to Gary is that he has got to carry on doing what he has been doing this season. If he does that, and Steve has his scouts watching, then Gary will get back in the squad.

“I think he was a little bit surprised at not being included after being a regular for so long, but he has got to plant a seed in the manager's mind that he is good enough to be in that squad. Which he is.”

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