Gallacher unsure of future with Canaries
CHRIS WISE Paul Gallacher is anxious to sort out his future after making a belated debut for the Canaries - nearly two years after joining the club!
Paul Gallacher is anxious to sort out his future after making a belated debut for the Canaries - nearly two years after joining the club!
The Scotland international goalkeeper was called into action in unusual circumstances against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday when undisputed No 1 Robert Green injured his ankle during the pre-match warm-up.
It was Gallacher's first appearance for Nigel Worthington's side since moving south from Dundee United during the summer of 2004, and he grabbed the unexpected opportunity with both hands by turning in an impressive performance that included one world-class stop to deny Owls striker Deon Burton.
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Unfortunately he couldn't prevent another Norwich defeat - Marcus Tudgay's effort on the stroke of half-time saw to that. But it was still a highly satisfactory afternoon's work from a man whose contract is up in the summer and who doesn't know where he will be playing next season.
"I haven't got a clue what is happening to be honest - we'll have to wait and see," said Gallacher, who is now hoping to make it two games in three days against QPR at Carrow Road today. "I'd love to know what the future holds for me - whether it's getting a contract or whether it's being released, but I really don't know.
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"The first indications are that I will be moving on but in this game you never know how things will pan out. Look what happened before the match today! At the moment all I can do is prepare for first team football here. I have got to be ready if called upon - that has been the case ever since I have been here."
Gallacher is clearly desperate for regular first team action after spending two frustrating seasons as No 3 keeper behind Green and Darren Ward. The former Forest man will be leaving the club during the summer but the prospect of moving just one place up the pecking order clearly isn't too appealing to the 26-year-old Scot, who has fallen out of favour at international level since moving to Carrow Road.
Assuming Green is still with the Canaries next season Gallacher will still be No 2 with young Joe Lewis breathing down his neck - and that would leave him as far away from an international recall as ever.
"I have got to play football at first team level before I can even think about playing for Scotland. That is absolutely essential," he admitted.
That worry is for another day. On Saturday Gallacher was just delighted to have finally made his first team debut, ironically against the team he represented on eight occasions during a loan spell last season. It wasn't the way he would have wanted it - but he was happy to take the chance none-the-less.
"It has been a frustrating couple of years for me, of course it has," he said. "But if you look at Robert he has played really well since I have been here and has probably been our most consistent performer. You can see why he is in the England squad thatfor sure. Goalkeepers have always got to be patient because there is only ever one place available in the side. If someone is doing well all you can do is work hard and hope your chance will come. Luckily for me, and unluckily for Robert, I got that chance today.
"He came out at his normal time and was warming up and I think he just turned on his ankle. He tried to carry on with his work but you could see he was in a bit of pain. That was when I knew I might be needed - but it wasn't until about 15 minutes before the game that I knew I was definitely in.
"When you are a reserve goalkeeper you always prepare as if you are going to start the game so it was no problem for me. I had done all my warm-up work so I was ready for it. There wasn't time for any nerves. It was a strange way to make my debut, I suppose, but these sort of things happen and I just had to go out there and do a job.
"I thought I did okay. I was pleased with the save from the free header but obviously their goal took some of the shine off of that.
"Their lad was clean through and I made the save. The ball could then have gone anywhere but unfortunately for us it has gone back to the boy who has headed it over me. I scrambled back to try and get it but sadly it looped into the back of the net.
"Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the game - even though I would obviously have enjoyed it even more if we had got a result.
"Defeat was hard to take because I thought we dominated for long spells in the second half and deserved at least a point.
"There was a big crowd, a great atmosphere and it was a brilliant match to play in. I have got to pay tribute to our travelling support here. We brought a lot of fans with us and they were excellent to me. They cheered me on and helped me through the first half and I really appreciated that."
Gallacher took a knock himself towards the end of the game when he collided with Deon Burton but he should be okay for today's sell-out encounter at Carrow Road.
"I am a bit sore right now but I'll certainly be ready for Monday if the call comes," he said. "To be honest I'd probably say I was fit even if I still felt a bit of pain because I just want to play! I have got a chance at the moment and am I determined to take it."