Crunch talks for Theoklitos
Jonathan Redhead The career of out-of-favour Michael Theoklitos is up for discussion once more after manager Paul Lambert said he will talk to the stopper about his Carrow Road future.
The career of out-of-favour Michael Theoklitos is up for discussion once more after manager Paul Lambert said he will talk to the stopper about his Carrow Road future.
The Australian, whose only game for City was the disastrous 7-1 home defeat to Lambert's Colchester on the opening day of the season, was down to fourth choice on Saturday, after teenager Jed Steer was named in the matchday squad for the first time in his career at Carlisle.
The selection raises huge doubts about Theoklitos' role with City, but Lambert said he would chat to the goalkeeper before telling him to look for another club - as he has with unwanted striker Goran Maric.
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“I have to have a chat with him first and foremost. I have to speak to him,” Lambert said.
“It's hard for certain people to get in my side at the minute with the way the lads have got on. If the team keeps performing well, whether you bring in new lads or not, the team, when they win, picks itself.
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“That's the nature of the game. Any player that's in the squad or in the team deserves to be there on merit.”
It seems likely Steer will remain on the bench for tonight's League One clash at Southend.
The Academy product is the latest in a line of talented youngsters to force his way into first team reckoning after deputising on the bench in place of injured Declan Rudd.
Lambert said he wanted to have a look at Steer first hand.
“I haven't seen much of him since I've been here, only in youth and training games and he's been injured a little bit. He's another young lad and I have to see with my own eyes what people can do, who I've not seen.
“Most of them I know what they can do and what they can't and there's one or two who've not played many games due to injury.”
Steer is the latest in a line of Academy youngsters to push for a first team spot this season and Lambert praised the work done by Academy boss Ricky Martin.
“If the club can keep producing it's own then great. It keeps an identity with the club and its fans,” he said.
“If it's your job to do it and you get one or two coming through then great. The academy has produced young ones to get through into the first team and that's what the predicament is at the minute and that's what you have to try to do.
“It's hard work trying to find them. They just don't grow on trees, that's the thing. You just can't go out there and hand pick them. They have to be coached and nurtured in the right way and Ricky's done really fine with them.”
And Lambert said he'll continue to keep throwing youngsters into the fray if he thinks they are good enough.
“Forget the league you're in, you've just got to brave enough to throw them in and think they're going to be ready,” he said. “There's no point in throwing them in if you think they're not quite ready.”