Lewis still uncertain over City future

CHRIS LAKEY Canaries goalkeeper Joe Lewis was celebrating a surprise call-up to the England Under-21 squad yesterday - but admits his own future at Norwich City is unclear.


Canaries goalkeeper Joe Lewis was celebrating a surprise call-up to the England Under-21 squad yesterday - but admits his own future at Norwich City is unclear.

The 19-year-old is on a six-month loan at Morecambe, while David Marshall wears the number one shirt back at Carrow Road, ahead of second choice Matthew Gilks.

And while his performances with the League Two newcomers have attracted the attentions of Under-21s boss Stuart Pearce, Lewis admits it has been a frustrating time as far as his Norwich City hopes are concerned.

"I am concentrating on Morecambe and the England trip but, yes, I have been thinking about what is happening," said Lewis, who has yet to play for City in a competitive game.

"David Marshall is a young goalkeeper and has a long career ahead of him and the longer he stays at Norwich the harder it could be for me. If he is playing really well I can't see myself breaking through, no matter how well I play.

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"On the other hand, if he is playing well it might be that he will move on, who knows?

"It is frustrating to sit on the bench, especially as a goalkeeper because you know there is only a slim chance of you getting on the pitch. When you have decent goalkeepers in front of you it is very frustrating - but I'd rather be the number three than the number two, because if you're the number two you have to be on the bench. If like me you're the number three you get a chance to get out and play first team games, and that's what you need.

"It is that word again - experience - that keeps cropping up and I feel I am getting that experience by coming here and playing first team football, and I can't get that at Norwich.

"At Norwich I would be training all week and on Saturday I wouldn't be getting a game. It could be a bit disheartening and you can sometimes lose a little enthusiasm if you are not careful. But at the moment, every day is geared towards something and subconsciously it gives you a lift."

The former Bungay High School pupil's international call-up comes in the week that he helped Morecambe spring the shock of the round in the Carling Cup with a 3-1 victory at Wolves, who only managed to beat him from the penalty spot.

He was on standby for the Under-21s for their friendly against Romania earlier this month and admits he was hoping that a full call-up would follow.

"I was confident because I've been playing okay since the Romania game and I thought I had a decent chance," added Lewis, who has caps at under-16, under-17 and under-19 level. "But obviously I am still surprised and very, very happy.

"It has all happened so quickly, but I felt if I was playing regular football at Morecambe it might lead to something.

"It's obviously a dream to play for your country at any level and clearly winning a full England cap has to be the ultimate ambition. But there is still a long way to go before I should think about that - but that's my aim and I am delighted to have got this far."

Lewis is one of three keepers in Pearce's squad, along with Tottenham's Ben Alnwick and Manchester City's Joe Hart.

"Joe has been playing very well on loan at Morecambe and has come through the England system, so it'll be good to see him join up with us," said Pearce. "He was on standby for the Romania game, but because it was a short get-together, we felt it was better for us to take just two goalkeepers. This time, it'll be a good opportunity for him to sample the under-21 squad."