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Drogba turning back the clock

Chelsea 18 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Nov 5, 2006

Dowie dreading Carson Liverpool recall

No sooner had Charlton manager Iain Dowie come down to earth from the celebration of his side's second Premiership win of the season than he started worrying about a possible telephone call from his Liverpool opposite number Rafael Benitez.

Striker Darren Bent may have scored the vital goal that multiplied Manchester City's away-day misery but it was on-loan Scott Carson who protected Charlton's hard-earned lead with a stunning series of saves.

Carson is England's Under 21 goalkeeper even though he looks, with a heavy five-o'clock shadow, at least 30. Charlton have borrowed him from Anfield for the season but there is a clause in the deal that Liverpool can, if they desire, recall him in January.

After seeing Carson keep out goal-worthy City efforts by Trevor Sinclair, Giorgios Samaras and substitute Bernardo Corradi - typical of his form since arriving at The Valley - boss Dowie admitted: 'We are just going to have to hope that a call from Rafa doesn't come.

'Scott has been absolutely superb and we are delighted Liverpool have given us the licence to take him, but it benefits both parties in that Scott is developing all the time, working and also learning from Premiership experience.

'Liverpool have (Jose) Reina as their number one and we hope we don't get that call but, obviously, we can't affect that.'

Carson said: 'It is all credit to the manager here that he took the opportunity to give an inexperienced goalkeeper like me an chance of gaining experience here.

'I am enjoying it and learning all the time but if I am told to go back to Liverpool then that is what I must do. At the same time, though, I want to help Charlton up the table and I'm glad if my saves can do that.'

But with reserve keeper Jerzy Dudek under suspension after being sent off in a reserve game, Liverpool have been forced to put untried David Martin, 20, on the first-team substitutes' bench.

And with Chris Kirkland completing a £3million permanent move to Wigan, one of Spaniard Reina's well-known wobbles in the next few weeks might just make Benitez activate Carson's comeback call, leaving Dowie minus a major asset.

Even Carson was helpless, though, 10 minutes from time in a determined City rally when - after diving spectacularly to stop Corradi's header and then seeing Darius Vassell just fail to get a touch to Sinclair's hook-shot across a gaping goal - Hatem Trabelsi, a third City substitute, struck the inside of a post from 25 yards.

The ball rebounded straight to Carson who pawed it away almost apologetically - and then fell on it. You knew, for certain then, that he was not going to be beaten.