Ready to seize the moment

JONATHAN REDHEAD Paul Gallacher has revealed he is now ready to seize his chance after two “very frustrating” seasons at Carrow Road. The Scotland international received a surprise but welcome birthday present when he learnt Robert Green had left the Canaries for the Premiership and West Ham in a deal which could be worth up to £2m.

JONATHAN REDHEAD

Norwich City's number one, Paul Gallacher, has revealed he is now ready to seize his chance after two “very frustrating” seasons at Carrow Road.

The Scotland international received a surprise but welcome birthday present when he learnt Robert Green had left the Canaries for the Premiership and West Ham in a deal which could be worth up to £2m.

And now he is determined to maintain his form and stake a permanent claim for the jersey even if City boss Nigel Worthington delves into the transfer market for another goalkeeper.


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The Scot, who turned 27 yesterday, admitted he had not released Green's transfer had been completed - but is now ready to make the most of his opportunity as City's main man between the sticks.

“I didn't actually know he'd moved until the press office phoned me!” Gallacher said. “It was a bit of a shock as it all happened so quickly.

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“But from my point of view I've got to look after number one, and it's one less challenge.

“From Robert's point of view it's a fantastic chance to play in the Premiership again and play European football so I can see why he's gone.”

After playing seven consecutive first team games, with four at the end of last season and the first three games at the start of this campaign, the former Dundee United player is the man in possession of the 'keeper's jersey and is prepared to work hard to keep hold of it.

“My aim is to maintain the first team shirt, play well and hopefully keep hold of the jersey and this has just opened the door for myself,” Gallacher said.

“I feel I've done okay so far but I've not had a lot to do in the games. As it's early in the season, there have been a few communication errors but we look quite strong and are playing as a unit.”

Worthington has already confirmed he is looking to bring in another 'keeper to the Canaries squad, while City chief executive Neil Doncaster has admitted he had discussions with Charlton about a potential swap deal involving Green for Dane Stephan Andersen and cash.

However, despite several days of negotiations between Doncaster, Charlton and Andersen's agent no deal could be reached and the Addicks interest in Green also fell flat.

But even if a new 'keeper is brought into the club, Gallacher is relishing the challenge.

“It's good to have competition in every position, and we've got that except maybe left back with Adam (Drury),” he said. “I've already got Joe (Lewis) to push me and he's a fantastic young keeper.

“Another 'keeper would just add to the amount of competition and keep everyone on their toes. But it's always going to be tough for others too if I perform as well as I can.”

So far this season Gallacher has only let in a penalty away at Leeds and two goals at home to Luton, including an unstoppable shot from Rowan Vine.

But it was a save right at the death to deny the Hatters a point on Saturday which stuck in the minds of most fans and reminded them why he has won eight caps for his country.

And Gallacher admitted that a return to the international scene is in his thinking, but only if he performs well for City first.

“It's in the back of my mind especially when you see the international games on TV,” he said, “It's in my mind but first and foremost I've got to play well for Norwich City and keep my place in the first team which is down to hard work.”

Gallacher said his City career since signing from north of the border in the summer of 2004 has been trying, but with that time behind him he's looking forward to the future.

“It's been very frustrating,” he said. “Obviously I came down here having been number one and coming to have a back seat wasn't too good, but Norwich is a big club.

“I've never complained and worked hard and knew my chance would come one day and it did when Robert got unfortunately injured, and I seized the chance and I've done okay.”

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