Norwich City head coach David Wagner has confirmed that George Long will start in goal tomorrow against Birmingham City if Angus Gunn does not complete a late fitness test.
Long signed for the Canaries in August on a free transfer after Tim Krul left newly promoted Premier League side Luton Town after spending the last two seasons with Millwall.
With Krul gone, Long’s only rival at Norwich is Gunn and the pair will compete for a starting position between the sticks. However, Gunn is Wagner’s preferred choice in goal in the Championship.
Long is yet to make a single appearance for the Canaries as Gunn has kept his place for the first 11 games. However, that could change tomorrow.
Gunn missed Wednesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Fulham with a shoulder injury, meaning Long was forced to start in goal even though he was battling illness.
According to manager Wagner, Long has now recovered from the error, but the German insists there is still a chance Gunn could be available after receiving an injection in his shoulder.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Birmingham City, the former Huddersfield Town manager said [quotes from The72, via Pink’Un]:“We’ll have to see.
“Yesterday we didn’t do much after the game, we were just recovering. We’ll practice this afternoon [Friday] and we’ll see.
“I heard George has recovered after his illness. With Gunny, we will have to see how he can handle the situation after the injection he should have received,” he continued.
“We knew then that he would miss a few days of training and then have to integrate well into team training. There aren’t many other days, just four or five, but we have to see how he reacts. Then we’ll make a late call there.
Writer’s point of view
If Gunn is ready to go in net, Wagner’s decision is an easy one to make. However, Long is also a goalkeeper of championship quality, so the fact that Gunn is not yet fit is not the end of the world.
That being said, Long’s opportunities are likely to be limited this season, so if he starts tomorrow he needs to make sure he establishes himself as Norwich City’s number one.