Price Still After Loan
Thursday, 14th Oct 2004 14:59
Wales U21 keeper Lewis Price says he still sees his immediate future away from Portman Road on a loan spell despite greater involvement in the first team this season. Price, 20, looks set to make his first home league start on Saturday when the Blues take on Burnley.
Price told TWTD that up to now the season has gone to plan: “So far the season has gone as well as I could have expected. I'm still trying to get out on loan because, although I'd like to compete for Kel's place, I know he's going to be the one on the teamsheet week in, week out.
“To go out on loan and gain some experience is what I need to do and then go on to try and push Kel for his place in the side by the end of the season. I know he's a decent keeper but I'd like to push him as far as I can.”
The Wales U21 international says that despite competing with Davis for the number one shirt they are the best of friends: “You could say there's rivalry but there isn't really because we're close mates and he's a top guy, so we don't ever fall out about anything.
“That said, it would be nice to push him hard and start a few games. But he hasn't really put a foot wrong this season and he played fantastically well last season.”
Price enjoyed his week spent with the Wales U21 squad: “It was good, a lot of travelling but overall good. I was happy with my performance against England, although I could have done a bit better with the first goal against Poland.
“But all in all I thought I did all right, although Darren [Bent] scoring against me was the obviously a big downer!”
He says the experience of playing against Premiership players with Wales will have done him good: “England had a lot of Premiership starters. The standards are a lot higher at international level and it's good that I can make that step up. It's that little bit more experience which is what I really need at the minute.
“I'm starting to get used to playing in front of big crowds now which is another thing you have to contend with. That's the other side of playing from getting out there and saving the ball, there's the crowd to try and deal with too. But I don't mind the opposition crowds, I just put on a smile and try to blank them out.”
This summer saw change on the coaching front for Town's keepers with Malcolm Webster joining Derby and Andy Rhodes coming to Portman Road. Price says things are working well: “There's a different style under Andy but I feel it's good. Change is always good and Andy's a bit more relaxed. Generally goalkeeping is very much the same so there's never a really massive change but he's a good coach and we're getting on well.”
Two weeks ago the former Academy player saved a penalty at Coventry but doesn't expect to match a former Town stopper's legendary spotkick feats: “I wouldn't say I'm a penalty saving specialist. But if I could keep up with Paul Cooper's record here I'd be pretty happy!”
If, as expected, he plays against Burnley Price will make his third league start for the Blues plus one as sub and another two starts in the Carling Cup.
Photo: Action Images
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