Norwich City are in safe hands with teenage keeper Barden
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City’s teenage goalkeeper Daniel Barden is made of the right stuff – according to a former Canaries striker who has watched him develop into the world of men’s football.
Barden is on standby to make his first Championship start if Tim Krul and Michael McGovern are unavailable for Saturday’s home game against Barnsley.
Krul has missed nine games with a thigh injury while McGovern’s first-half injury against QPR on Tuesday gave Barden – who will be 20 on Saturday - his first taste of Championship football.
Alan Lee – on loan at Norwich in 2009 - believes the Welsh youngster will cope if called upon, having watched him mature during a season spent with Isthmian League North side Bury Town, where he is involved as a director.
“Steve McGavin was working for Norwich and hooked us with Daniel,” said Lee. “He was raw, academy football was very different and you can’t beat the pressure of three points on a Saturday. And the fans behind you – you hear everything they say and it toughens them up.
“In his first couple of games he made a couple of mistakes and looked a bit nervous and in the third game he made a couple of outstanding saves and from that moment on he was absolutely outstanding.
“He had to battle - it didn’t all go his way at the start, but he just had a really good character and all the players, staff and fans thought the world of him.
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“Goalkeepers have to be good shot stoppers, good decision makers and many other things, but for me, it is about mentality – that is everything.
“Being a footballer can be really tough mentally – three points makes or breaks your week. If you lose you can be in a dark place. It is a lot of pressure so mentality is everything – and I think there is a really good sign there for Daniel.
“He is really young for a goalkeeper, he has another 20 years in the game but he is the type who will know his career doesn’t rest on one game if he should start it. From what I have seen he is brave enough to deal with it. The signs are there – he is level headed nothing flash, grounded and humble and they are good character traits.”