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Ipswich keeper Bialkowski staying grounded despite fulfilling ‘biggest dream’ in bid to reach World Cup

PUBLISHED: 06:00 27 March 2018

Bartosz Bialkowski made his debut for Poland on Friday night. Picture: PAGEPIX

Bartosz Bialkowski made his debut for Poland on Friday night. Picture: PAGEPIX

Pagepix Ltd

Goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski is not getting carried away despite fulfiling his ‘biggest dream’ while on international duty with Poland.

The Ipswich goalkeeper came off the bench during his country's 1-0 home defeat by Nigeria. Picture: PAGEPIXThe Ipswich goalkeeper came off the bench during his country's 1-0 home defeat by Nigeria. Picture: PAGEPIX

The Blues keeper, called into a senior squad for the first time, made his international debut as a half-time substitute in Friday night’s 1-0 home loss to Nigeria in Wroclaw.

He is unlikely to play in tonight’s clash with South Korea, with Poland boss Adam Nawalka likely to ensure all four goalkeepers in his squad are given some gametime, but the 30-year-old was proud to have played for his country for the first time as he pushes for a place in Poland’s 2018 World Cup squad.

“This is the fulfillment of the biggest dream,” Bialkowski said in an interview in the Polish media.

“Now you have to do everything to stay in this team for as long as possible. That’s how I approach it.

“The game with an eagle on the chest is the greatest distinction for each player.

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“For three years I have been regularly playing in my club every week. I also dreamed about representation before, but I did not have the right to get a call-up.

“First, I was sitting on a bench in Southampton, then there was Notts County and only the third league. For several seasons I’ve been fighting hard to get a calling.

“When I received a call-up, everyone was asking about me going to the World Cup but I have to be realistic, it’s only been my first cap.

“Of course it would be huge to go to Russia. Everyone in the club congratulated my but I keep my head cool. Every footballer wants to play at the highest possible level.”

On Victor Moses’ second-half penalty, which ultimately won the game for Nigeria, Bialkowski said: “Maybe it could be my chance to save it and shine in the debut? But then you know, every goalkeeper wants to save penalties.

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Bialkowski says he is still in touch with former Ipswich defender Piotr Malarczyk. Picture: STEVE WALLERBialkowski says he is still in touch with former Ipswich defender Piotr Malarczyk. Picture: STEVE WALLER

“I knew he’d try to out-wait me. He watched my reactions on the line until the very end. It’s a shame about the referee’s decision but it’s history now. We can’t change it.”

Bialkowski now returns to Ipswich at a time when he has agreed, but not yet signed, a new contract, with a year remaining on his current deal in the form of an option that the Blues are certain to take.

The goalkeeper has again insisted he is in no desperate rush to leave Portman Road but would have to consider a move to the Premier League if one became available.

“I too dream about Premier League but I owe Ipswich a lot,” he said. “I won’t be doing something at any cost and I won’t put pressure on the club.

“But if the clubs make an agreement I will have to think things through, of course. I’ve still got one year left on my contract.

“I know Ipswich and Crystal Palace were in talks in January but the deal fell through as the clubs couldn’t agree the fee.”

He was also asked about Polish defender Piotr Malarczyk, who played six times for the Blues in the 2015/16 season.

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“In December he came to us for a few days,” Bialkowski said of the current Korona Kielce player.

“He was immediately thrown into deep water. He arrived at two in the morning and the next day he played 45 minutes in the league match. It was hard for him to jump right into the game. The coach also had no grounds to change the defense. I think he is a very good player. I believe in him. Everything is ahead of him.”

Jonas Knudsen could also be in international action tonight when Denmark take on Chile.

The Ipswich defender, also pushing for a place at this summer’s World Cup, was an unused substitute in his side’s victory over Panama on Friday night and could get some minutes as part of a Denmark side which had three left backs on the bench in their last outing.

Flynn Downes could also play again for England Under 19s as they take on Macedonia in their European Championship qualifier.

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Paul Lambert has challenged Teddy Bishop to make his mark as the midfielder continues his bid for fitness following three injury-hit seasons.

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski discussed being left out of the team by former boss Paul Hurst, new coach Jimmy Walker and Paul Lambert’s positive impact when he spoke to the media this afternoon.

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Paul Lambert has confirmed Jordan Graham is no longer in his plans at Ipswich Town with the winger’s loan set to be cut short in January.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has told owner Marcus Evans that he believes defender Jonas Knudsen is worthy of a new contract.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert spoke to the media this afternoon ahead of the Friday night clash with West Bromwich Albion, and discussed the importance of the club’s fans creating a rocking Portman Road atmosphere as they try to escape the drop zone.

Mick McCarthy is the early favourite for vacant Republic of Ireland job following the departure of both Martin O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today we look back to David Gregory scoring a hat-trick as Town progressed to the next round of the League Cup.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert is impressed with what he’s seen of the Blues’ academy during his early weeks of his reign.

Titus Bramble says Ipswich Town duo Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes were stand-out performers at the recent England Under-20 camp.

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