‘Stockdale still learning,’ says Jewell
IT’s certainly been a rollercoaster start to the season for Ipswich Town keeper David Stockdale.
The Fulham loanee heads into tonight’s match in Bulgaria as England’s second choice custodian for a Euro 2012 qualifier following Robert Green’s withdrawal from the squad through injury.
Yet the 25-year-old wasn’t expecting to even be selected at all having conceded 12 goals in the space of five days against Southampton and Peterborough recently.
You have to say that international recognition has been just reward for arguably Town’s stand-out performer in the opening games though – a string of good saves keeping the scoreline down at times.
And Blues boss Paul Jewell, who is on the look out for a third keeper knowing that Stockdale could be recalled at 24 hours notice, believes the Yorkshireman will only get better.
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“It has been difficult for him, it has been like shooting practice in a couple of games, so he’s done very well,” said the Town manager.
“He is a terrific goalkeeper, but he is still learning. He’s 25 but it’s not as if he has hundreds of games behind him. He’ll get better.”
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Tonight is the fourth time Stockdale has been called up by England manager Fabio Capello but, due to ill-fate, is only the second occasion he has actually joined up with the squad.
On the bench for a 2-1 friendly win in Denmark back in February, he had to miss the Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland in June as he was getting married the day before.
The international curse struck again recently when a friendly against Holland was called off at the last minute due to the London riots.
Stockdale, who will act as back-up to Manchester City’s Joe Hart tonight, said: “To have Ipswich Town’s name on the England squad list, as well as Fulham, it’s a big thing.”