Dean Gerken is still my number one – Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy speaks out after the addition of Bartosz Bialkowski

Bartosz Bialkowski makes a fine second half save against West Ham. PHOTO: Steve Waller

Bartosz Bialkowski makes a fine second half save against West Ham. PHOTO: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says Dean Gerken will start the season as his first choice goalkeeper, but added that new signing Bartosz Bialkowski will be given his chance should he impress.

Bialkowski – who finally completed his protracted switch from League One club Notts County yesterday – played the second half of tonight’s goalless pre-season draw with Premier League club West Ham at Portman Road, making one particularly good reaction stop.

“There’s no transfer fee – there’s a clause in it if we get promoted, a sell-on clause, but there wasn’t a fee,” said McCarthy.

“We’ve been trying to get him for a long time. And we’ve all seen why I’ve tried to get him because he played well tonight.” Bialkowski worked with Town goalkeeper coach Malcolm Webster at Southampton and it was the latter who pushed for the Polish custodian, 27, to be the club’s top target this summer.

“Let’s give somebody else a bit of credit because Malcolm was big on Gerks (Dean Gerken) last year,” said McCarthy.


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“I can tell you if someone’s a good goalkeeper and I can tell you if someone’s a hopeless goalkeeper, but I can’t tell you much inbetween because it’s a real specific position.

“I trust his (Webster’s) opinion, even more so after Gerks because he’s been excellent. If we get as much success out of this fella he’ll have done well.”

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Asked if it was a straight battle between the two for the keeper’s shirt, McCarthy replied: “No, Dean Gerken is number one – as Loachy (Scott Loach) was last year. We saw what happened there though didn’t we? Dean Gerken played 40 games.

“I’ve said that to Gerks. As well as he’s done, as much as I love him, if the other fella is better then he knows what happens – even if the other fella has got the number 33 on his back.”

Meanwhile, the Blues boss said he will not rush striker David McGoldrick back into action. The front man injured his cruciate knee ligaments back in February, went away to do some strength and conditioning work in Philidelphia this summer and only just started training with a ball this week.

Asked if last season’s top-scorer might feature at some stage in pre-season, Mccarthy said: “Only when he’s ready. Only when the physio and he tell me he’s ready.

“I’d sooner he missed the first month of the season – and I’m not saying he will – but I’d sooner that was the case as supposed to rushing him back and then him being out all the time with niggly injuries. I don’t want that.”

On Freddie Veseli – who was on trial at Swiss club Luzern last week, but played as a central midfielder in the second half again West ham – the Blues boss said: “He’s one of my players. While he’s here I’ll continue to use him, but if I can get a deal for him somewhere I will.”

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