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Let battle commence in the race to be Norwich City's number one

Michael McGovern joined the rest of Norwich City's keeper on tour in Austria last week. 
Picture by EXPA Pictures/Focus Images Ltd

Michael McGovern joined the rest of Norwich City's keeper on tour in Austria last week. Picture by EXPA Pictures/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Michael McGovern is one of the best Alex Neil has seen - but the Norwich City new boy must fight to become his number one at Carrow Road.

City host Coventry City tonight in their penulitmate pre-season friendly after returning from the club’s Austrian tour, with Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 hero McGovern in their ranks following a free transfer move.

John Ruddy impressed in the 2-1 weekend win over Rubin Kazan, while Declan Rudd was on duty against FK Dukla Prague but Neil insists he has an open mind who will line up at Blackburn for the Championship opener.

“He is not coming in as my number one. He will have to fight for his place like everybody else,” said Neil. “I don’t have anybody that is guaranteed to play in any position in the team. He is a goalkeeper who I have no hesitation in saying, having played at a lot of different levels in football, is one of the best keepers I have come across. But the bottom line is they are going to have to fight and prove their worth that they deserve to play. He’s a great lad and he’ll add real competition.”

McGovern’s international displays in France attracted plenty of rival suitors.

“Obviously there was always going to be other clubs interested, after what he did, but we had both had success together in the past and that was a big factor,” said Neil. “From his side I would like to think it made sense to come to us and certainly as a free I thought it was a great bit of business for us. You always operate with more than three senior keepers. That is obvious.

“He is more than capable of stepping up, just like he showed at the Euros when he played against Germany in particular and they don’t come much harder than that.”

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