Lewis set to go out on loan

CHRIS WISE Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington is planning to send young keeper Joe Lewis out on loan next season to give him the experience he needs to make the next step up in his career.

CHRIS WISE

Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington is planning to send young keeper Joe Lewis out on loan next season to give him the experience he needs to make the next step up in his career.

Despite being on the bench at the tender age of 15, the giant stopper has yet to make a first team appearance for the Canaries - and is likely to find himself restricted to reserve team football again next term.

Worthington doesn't feel the home-produced youngster, now 18, is ready for the hurly burly world of the Championship just yet - but that could all change if he goes away to another club, and comes back with some much-needed experience under his belt.


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"I know a lot of people would like to see Joe in the team but we have got to be fair to him and we have got to be fair to ourselves," said the City boss. "At the moment, both mentally and physically, he is just not ready.

"Maybe at some stage we'll try and get him out on loan. We tried to do that last season but there were no takers because of his inexperience.

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"If we could do it this season that would be ideal because we need to bring him to the level we are at which is a huge step up. If and when the opportunity does arrive he has got to be fully ready to take it."

Worthington's thoughts were also with last season's undisputed No.1 yesterday as he announced Paul Gallacher's new two-year contract.

Robert Green is now recuperating at home after undergoing surgery on the heartbreaking groin injury that ruled him out of England's World Cup squad - and the manager was happy to report that his recovery was going very much to plan.

If everything continues to go well Green should be back in action some time in October and the City boss commented: "I haven't had a chance to speak to Robert yet because I have only just returned from holiday but I know where he is at. He is making good progress as we speak and hopefully he will recover sooner rather than later.

"I was out of the country when it happened - I didn't find out until I got a call about it. First and foremost I was hugely disappointed for Robert because he was so close to getting on the plane to go to the finals. But as we all know football can be a cruel game and it's like the rubber ball, you have always got to be ready to bounce back. The challenge now for Robert is to do just that - and then start moving forward again."

As for the latest on the transfer front Worthington assured fans once again that work was ongoing, with his labours likely to bear fruit in the not-too-distant future.

"A lot of work is going on behind the scenes," he said. "But because of the World Cup and other different bits and pieces there is not too much concrete report at this moment in time. All I can say is that a lot of phone calls have been made and over the next two or three weeks, up to the start of pre-season, some of them might start to bear fruit.

"Hopefully some new faces will be joining us soon. But, as I always say at this time of year, it's a case of being patient. There's a time at the end of May and into June when everything tends to go very quiet."

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