Gallacher wants to resume international career

JONATHAN REDHEAD Norwich City's Paul Gallacher is hopeful his country “will come calling” if he continues his fine start to the new season.


Norwich City's Paul Gallacher is hopeful his country “will come calling” if he continues his fine start to the new season.

Now starting his third season in Norfolk, Gallacher, who has been capped eight times by Scotland, finds himself firmly as City's first choice 'keeper after a couple of frustrating seasons behind Robert Green in the pecking order following his move south of the border from Dundee United.

And while the 27-year-old is determined to cement his role in between the sticks at Carrow Road, he also has an eye on resuming an international career, which has been stalled since an appearance against Estonia in May 2004.

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Last season he received several phone calls from Walter Smith and the Scotland team's management but this year there has been nothing so far. But like most Scots, Gallacher was delighted with the national team's 6-0 win over the Faroe Islands on Saturday in their bid to qualify for the Euro 2008 Championships.

“I did catch the game on Saturday and it was a fantastic performance from the boys and it's a good start to the campaign,” he said. “Of course, it's in the back of my mind, international football.

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“But first and foremost I've got to play well for Norwich City. They've given me the opportunity to perform and hopefully I can take that.

“I've heard nothing as yet. Last season I had a few phone calls but this year there's not been anything at all.

“I just need to keep my focus and keep playing first team football for Norwich City and if I'm doing well for club then hopefully the country will come calling.”

And Gallacher is happy with his own form and that of the team after a frustrating start to his Carrow Road career.

Speaking at the opening of the new Pilch sports store in London Street, Norwich, yesterday, he said: “I'm just starting my third season. I'm playing at the moment so if I keep my performances up and get the nod then I'll be delighted with that. But we've got a good squad of players here and I've seen a lot over the past couple of years, so I think we've definitely turned the corner. We look really good.

“I just think there's pace in the team. We're really good going forward and I think Dickson (Etuhu) has been fantastic in the midfield and been really good for us. The three up front have been fantastic and that's been show by the goals we've been scoring.

“On my part, not playing for a few years was disappointing. As a footballer you want to play first team football so I've got the opportunity now and I want to grasp it with both hands. I know it's a cliché, but I'll grasp it with both hands and hopefully maintain my place in the first team.”

Not being on international duty has given Gallacher and the majority of his City team-mates a break over the weekend, and the 'keeper thinks the break will work in City's favour before this Saturday's clash with Coventry City at the Ricoh Area.

“It's a good thing to have a break because a lot of boys have played a lot of games,” he said. “From my point of view I think we've been playing really well. We've looked good going forward and we've created a lot of chances, scored a lot of goals, so maybe having a break wasn't all good for us, but we'll soon find out on Saturday.

“We've got a tough game against Coventry.”

Alongside the rest of the country, Gallacher was glued to the TV on transfer deadline day last Thursday to see if anyone would be arriving at Carrow Road, while Leon McKenzie made his way to Coventry in a deal worth up to £1m.

“I was intrigued to find out who was moving where,” he said. “I'm always looking out to see what's happening. Obviously we thought we were getting a signing but it wasn't to be.

“I think numbers aren't great, within the club, but if you look we've had the same team for a good number of games now and we're playing really attractive football and we're scoring goals. So as long as we stay injury free, we should be OK.”

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