City have more fit keepers than strikers
DAVID CUFFLEY City boss Peter Grant has more fit goalkeepers than strikers at his disposal for tonight's match against Colchester - but it's Paul Gallacher who will be wearing the gloves at Carrow Road.
City boss Peter Grant has more fit goalkeepers than strikers at his disposal for tonight's match against Colchester - but it's Paul Gallacher who will be wearing the gloves at Carrow Road.
The sight of five 'keepers jogging round Colney at the start of yesterday's training session said much about the balance of the Canaries' current squad.
While Gallacher replaces the suspended Jamie Ashdown this evening, England Under-21 international Lee Camp is favourite for a place on the bench, but it could be his last time on the teamsheet before moving on.
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Camp, who signed on a three-month loan from Derby in September but has yet to make a first-team appearance, may be allowed to end his loan spell early if he can find first-team football elsewhere. Nineteen-year-old Joe Lewis may also get the chance to move out of Carrow Road on loan, Grant revealed, while youngster Steven Arnold is also in the ranks.
"Paul Gallacher will play against Colchester and Lee's fit, so there's a possibility he'll go back on the bench. We'll see how things go," said Grant, who said he had told Camp he can move on if he has a better opportunity of first-team football.
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"Bringing Jamie in, the situation is that I have said to him if he wants to go elsewhere on loan, so he is not sitting about here not playing games, he can," said Grant. "I think it is important every professional player plays. Knowing that I have brought another goalkeeper in pushes him into third place, really, although this evening because of the situation with Jamie he maybe comes back in at number two."
There have been inquiries, meanwhile, about taking Lewis on loan.
"There's a possibility young Joe can go out on loan," said Grant. "I think that's important so I can see him in a match situation.
"Reserve team football is good in one respect for younger boys, but I think goalkeeping is a position where you've got to be tested and if he can do that at league level, I'll be delighted and there's a possibility that may be happening. I think it will be good for him and give me a chance to go and see him as well and play in a league set-up.
"Outfield players you can judge sometimes, whether it's training or playing in the reserves, but goalkeepers are a wee bit different. If you can see their positional play, you can see the pressure that's on them in certain game situations. Hopefully it can make him a better all-round goalkeeper, so I'd like to give him that chance."
Newly-promoted Colchester, making their first competitive visit to Carrow Road for 47 years, are eight places above the Canaries - but just two points ahead - after their 2-0 home win over Southampton, with ex-Canary striker Jamie Cureton on target.
"I've known Colchester for a few years now. We played against them for Bournemouth and it was always a very, very difficult place to go," said Grant.
"You knew the type of game you were going to get. The games always seemed to be at 100 miles an hour at their place. It's no different now Geraint Williams has got them. If you've got a confident team, you end up with a good team because players are playing without fear - they're playing with that freshness when you come into the division. It's a fantastic attitude to have. They'll be thinking to themselves 'This is brilliant' and they'll be looking forward to coming here.
"I'm delighted for Geraint because he's been at the club a long time and now he's got the opportunity to be the manager and he's grabbed it with both hands and I'm very pleased for him."
Nevertheless, Grant said City would be gunning for another home win. He said: "I'm not here to draw 1-1 or 0-0 or 2-2. I'm here to win games, because three draws only get you one victory and that's what I'll be trying to achieve every game, no matter what players I have on the pitch. I'll not be sitting back."