Gilks ready to step into the spotlight

Norwich City goalkeeper Matthew Gilks insists he is ready to step into the first team when the call comes from manager Peter Grant.

Norwich City goalkeeper Matthew Gilks insists he is ready to step into the first team when the call comes from manager Peter Grant.

David Marshall's impressive form since his £1m arrival from Celtic has meant Gilks has been forced to be content with the role of understudy but the 25-year-old is adamant he will be ready to take his chance when it comes along.

Gilks found his pre-season preparations hampered by a slight knee injury, which restricted him to just 90 minutes of action over the summer in the defeat to FC Zwolle.

But he is back fighting fit and ready to challenge Marshall for the No.1 jersey.

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"Marsh has been superb so far this season and I think it's a case of me being prepared more than anything," he said. "If anything does happen to Marshall I've got to make sure that I'm ready to step in.

"I'm getting well into my training programme now and have been in the gym on the weights and it's important that I stay sharp. I feel more than ready to be called upon.

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"It's going great and I feel like I'm really getting into the swing of things now. The lads have made me feel right at home and it's a great place to be around at the moment. The staff have made it really easy for me to settle in."

Gilks arrived on a free transfer from Rochdale in the summer but revealed he always knew Grant would be bringing in another goalkeeper and feels the competition for places will bring out the best in all the 'keepers at the club.

"I knew that the gaffer was looking to strengthen in the goalkeeping department after he signed me but now it's up to me to show him that I'm ready when called upon.

"I'm used to having to fight for my place. When I was at Rochdale I was the understudy to an excellent goalkeeper in Neil Edwards for a few seasons but eventually I got my chance and I grabbed it with both hands."

Gilks, who could face his former side after the Canaries were drawn against Rochdale in the second round of the Carling Cup, said there is a healthy rivalry between himself and Marshall with the pre-season trip to Holland seeing them strike up a bond with one another.

"We're getting on really well," said Gilks. "We shared a room in Holland and the other keepers, whilst being rivals, are all there to help as well.

"I think that all the goalkeepers understand that everyone wants to play. But once someone is first choice then they are not going to let it go easily."

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