City 'keeper looking to grab opportunity
Jonathan Redhead Norwich City 'keeper Ben Alnwick says he has plenty of sympathy for Michael Theoklitos - but is determined to make the most of his own opportunity between the sticks.
Norwich City 'keeper Ben Alnwick says he has plenty of sympathy for Michael Theoklitos - but is determined to make the most of his own opportunity between the sticks.
Alnwick, on a three-month loan deal from Tottenham Hotspur, was handed his debut for Tuesday's 4-0 Carling Cup win at Yeovil after Theoklitos was dropped after the 7-1 thrashing by Colchester United.
And Alnwick took his chance with a solid display to keep a clean sheet and help steady a backline that was ripped apart at Carrow Road by the U's on the opening day of the League One campaign.
The 22-year-old admitted he did not want to see any goalkeeper go through the kind of debut Theoklitos had to endure, but is keen to take his chance in goal for the Canaries.
However, he has backed the Aussie to bounce back.
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“Mike's been different class,” he said. “He's come in and looked brilliant in training as he has all pre-season. Even the games in pre-season he's done very well.
“I spoke to him and I've been there myself. I was at Sunderland when Kelvin Davis was having a terrible time, but he got through it.
“Now he's just got to work hard. We've got a good battle going on. We're good friends, but we obviously both want the number one shirt.
“You never want to see it, especially to Mikey, he's a top man and a really nice bloke. I never want to see another goalkeeper get a start like that or have a game like that.
“But that's football and when something goes wrong it's obviously a chance for someone else to get in there and it can only bring the best out of both of us.”
Alnwick is now the clear favourite for a run in the team and must be almost certain to keep the number one shirt for Saturday's trip to Exeter City when the Canaries go hunting for their first league points of the season.
He believes City will be able to kick on from their Huish Park performance and put the Colchester nightmare firmly behind them.
“Everyone's over the moon that we got the result,” Alnwick said.
“It's fantastic and kick starts our season, but now we know we've got Exeter where we have to get three points.
“To be honest, the lads have done well this week. We trained hard, we got back on the training pitch and put things right. We'd watched the game again and had seen where we went wrong and now we can take confidence from Yeovil.
“Obviously it's always nice to keep a clean sheet, especially away from home. Yeovil's a hard place to come. I've been here before and been turned over but I thought the lads did very well and made my job a lot easier and I really enjoyed it.
“4-0 puts us in good stead for Saturday and the lads are brimming with confidence again. We can put last Saturday's result behind us and forget about that but learn from it, and hopefully we can kick on now.”
Alnwick also had praise for Tuesday's hat-trick hero Grant Holt, who already seems to be bearing the brunt of the dressing room jokes.
Manager Bryan Gunn revealed after the Yeovil victory that Holt's nickname was 'Horse', but Alnwick also had another description for the striker.
“He was dropping back, getting it in midfield and kicking on,” he said.
“He looked really good - he looked like a fat Wayne Rooney! But he did really well and hopefully he can kick on for us this season and get a lot of goals because he's a really good player.”