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Praise for Blackburn Rovers keeper, but no guarantee
HENNING Berg hopes Paul Robinson can continue his good form for Blackburn Rovers – but stopped short of guaranteeing that the former England international will remain as the club’s long-term goalkeeper.
Rovers have been linked with a January move for Brad Friedel, having had an enquiry about a loan deal turned down by Tottenham last month, and Robinson’s agent has confirmed his client will seek an Ewood exit if he is replaced as the club’s number one.
The Rovers boss heaped praise on Robinson for his performance in Sunday’s 1-1 derby draw at Burnley, although he stressed that competition for places will always be vital.
Asked if he still saw Robinson as his long-term goalkeeper, Berg said: “At the moment I see him as the first-team goalkeeper.
“He has played every game this season, he played well against Burnley. He has competition from Jake Kean, but at the moment he is ahead of Jake and the way he played on Sunday was very encouraging.
“That there is competition for places in the team is natural. We have that all over the park and that’s the way it should be.”
Robinson is understood to have been eager for clarification about whether Berg intends to keep him as the club’s number one, but the boss insisted that there is no need to discuss the situation with the 33-year-old.
“There is not much to say about it,” Berg said. “I know there was some speculation when the loan window closed but that is what is going to happen on deadline day.
“Agents are different, I don’t know why his agent said that, maybe he wanted a bit more assurance, I don’t know.
“But from our point of view Paul Robinson had a great game against Burnley and he is playing regularly for us.
“He is doing very well now, so from our point of view nothing has changed. He has a contract here and other keepers have contracts at other places.”
Friedel played alongside Berg during his previous spell with Rovers and has now lost his place in Tottenham’s Premier League team to Hugo Lloris, although the American is expected to feature in tonight’s Europa League game against Panathinaikos.
Asked if he would need to inform Robinson of an intention to move for Friedel or any other keeper, Berg said: “We’ve not even gone down that road, like I said Paul Robinson is a goalkeeper for us.
“Paul is the Blackburn goalkeeper, he has played all of the games. Brad is the Tottenham goalkeeper. Nothing changes.
“At the moment Paul is our first-team goalkeeper and is doing well, and we would like it to stay that way.”
But Berg says his thoughts are starting to turn towards the January transfer window, when he would like to add to his squad providing he can find players that improve the team at the right price.
“It’s natural to have a look at the squad and of course if it is possible to strengthen the squad in January then every manager in this league will want to do that, no matter where you are in the league,” he said.
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