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Norwich set to offer Michael McGovern new deal as boss hails 'role model' goalkeeper after run in side

 

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Michael McGovern has been starring for Norwich as he deputises for the injured Tim Krul.

Michael McGovern has been starring for Norwich as he deputises for the injured Tim Krul.

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Michael McGovern has been starring for Norwich as he deputises for the injured Tim Krul.

Championship high-fliers Norwich look set to reward Michael McGovern for his stand-in heroics by offering a new one-year deal.

The Northern Ireland keeper is out of contract in the summer and, although never first choice in his four years at Carrow Road, he remains a highly-regarded member of the Norwich squad.

The 36-year-old has impressed in a run of one defeat in eight League games, including yesterday's victory over Cardiff City, since replacing the injured Tim Krul last month.

"Michael is never ill, never injured and always spot on," said boss Daniel Farke.

"He prepares for games as if it's the World Cup Final. He knows everything about the opposition, even if he's not playing. You wouldn't believe it, but he even analyses their warm-ups.

"I would say he is a real role model for any player. In fact, there is no better one than Michael McGovern.

"Of course, it was not easy for him because he was not in the side, but he has delivered and I knew that he would deliver."

McGovern had two competitive outings for Northern Ireland earlier in the season in back-to-back Nations League clashes before his extended run at club level.

Farke admits that his international involvement was a big help to the Canaries.

"It was beneficial for us, yes," he added. "It especially helps a goalkeeper the more games he plays.

"However, even though he didn't have any games for us, I totally counted on Micky. He is a fantastic keeper who has never let me or the club down."

While McGovern can take huge comfort from his recent performances, he knows that Farke will not dispense with Krul, who he regards as the best keeper outside the Premier League.

While being effusive in his praise, Farke has been honest with McGovern about his role.

It means there are no guarantees that he could add to his club appearances before the end of the season.

Asked if McGovern will be selected for the FA Cup games - he played in the third round at Preston last season - Farke added: "We will see what unfolds. There is so much football to play in such a short period of time but I know that if and when I call on him I can count on him."

Ian Baraclough will be hoping that McGovern will not be confined to the subs bench too long with World Cup 2022 qualifiers beginning with a daunting trip to Italy in March.

Regular first choice Bailey Peacock-Farrell has played just three competitive games for Burnley since joining the Clarets from Leeds in the summer of 2018.

Farke insists that whether or not McGovern has any more first-team outings before then, he will be ready to frustrate the Italians.

"It is difficult for me to judge the situation with Northern Ireland because I don't know where they are with their goalkeepers, but I always keep my fingers crossed for Michael and (ex-Canary) Jamal (Lewis)," he said.

"Obviously I am confident that whenever he plays, Northern Ireland can count on him."


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