Green can still go to Germany - Worthy
CHRIS WISE Nigel Worthington believes Robert Green can fulfil his World Cup ambitions at Carrow Road. The Canaries' keeper missed out on the return to the top flight that many were predicting last month - and must now push for a place in the England squad from the Coca Cola Championship.
Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington believes Robert Green can fulfil his World Cup ambitions at Carrow Road.
The Canaries' keeper missed out on the return to the top flight that many were predicting last month when rumoured admirers Portsmouth and Charlton failed to make a move - and must now push for a place in the England squad from the Coca Cola Championship.
Green has been a regular member of Sven Goran Eriksson's squad for nearly two years now, but with all his rivals playing their football at the highest level his place in the big event is far from guaranteed.
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Tottenham's Paul Robinson is almost certain to be England's No 1 and Worthington knows the likes of David James and Chris Kirkland will be pushing his man hard for two places in the travelling party. But with Kirkland currently out of the first team at West Brom he reckons Green will have a wonderful chance of going to Germany if he plays well for City between now and the end of the season.
Asked if playing at a lower level might count against his keeper in the build-up to the World Cup, Worthington commented: “The situation is there and he has got to deal with it.
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“It's up to Robert. He knows there is a magnificent carrot dangling in front of him - to get in that England squad for the World Cup. That will come from his own performances.
“There is no reason why he can't claim a place while playing in the Championship. Yes, we know that Paul Robinson is No.1 and David James is playing regularly in the Premiership - but Chris Kirkland is still in and out through injury and isn't playing at the moment.
“If Robert is playing consistently, and keeps turning in high performance levels, then he has got to be a serious candidate for one of the three places.”
Green should have a better idea of where he stands on March 1 when England take on Uruguay at Anfield in their first World Cup warm-up fixture. If he retains his place in Eriksson's squad then he should have a decent chance of representing his country in Germany but if James and Kirkland get in ahead of him then the writing really will be on the wall. The Norwich City star has four more games to stake his claim, starting at Hull tomorrow.
Meanwhile Worthington continues to have concerns about Green's regular No. 2 at Carrow Road, with Darren Ward still struggling with a back injury. The experienced Welsh international will sit out his fifth consecutive game at the weekend and his manager still isn't sure when he will be fit to challenge Paul Gallacher for a place on the bench.
“Darren is coming back out and doing little bits as far as handling is concerned,” he said. “But it is a case of building him up at the moment. Any back problem is cause for concern and it's something we have got to monitor as we go along.”
City might be struggling for results at present - that that hasn't stopped almost 2000 supporters from buying tickets for tomorrow's game at Hull. There will still be room for fans who want to pay on the day, with admission costing £21 for adults and £12 for concessions.