McCarthy: Poland Boss Kept Cards Close to Chest
Friday, 16th Feb 2018 16:08
Town boss Mick McCarthy says Poland manager Adam Nawalka wouldn’t reveal whether he would be giving Blues keeper Bartosz Bialkowski his first senior international call-up following Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Burton Albion.
Nawalka and his assistant Tomasz Iwan were at Portman Road to watch the game against the Brewers and spoke to Bialkowski afterwards.
“I said to him in the coaches’ office afterwards, ‘You’ve got a game in March, will you be calling him up?’. And, of course, he wasn’t going to give that away, he just said, ‘We’ve really good goalkeepers’. I said, ‘If you’ve got any better than him you’re doing really well!’.
“I was promoting him, I want him to do as well as he possibly can. For all we didn’t play well last week, Bart wasn’t making saves all over the place, but the two he made, certainly the one in the last minute, just showed how agile he is, how mentally prepared he is.
"He’s kept his concentration and shown what a top keeper he is by making that save.”
While two of Nawalka’s World Cup keepers look nailed-on certainties - Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus) and Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) - the third space in the squad travelling to Russia is more open.
One leading candidate, Roma’s Lukasz Skorupski, is currently not playing games, while Przemysław Tytoń of Deportivo de La Coruña’s form has been declining.
Bialkowski won six U20s caps as a youngster but is yet to be involved with his national squad at the senior level.
Poland, who will face Senegal, Colombia and Japan in Group H at this summer's finals, host Nigeria in a friendly on Friday 23rd March and then South Korea the following Tuesday.
Closer to their trip to Russia, they play Lithuania on Tuesday 12th June, four days after a fourth home game against so-far unnamed opponents. The 23-man squad for the World Cup is due to be named on Tuesday 5th June.
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