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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
Read
By ESPN Staff

Isaksson welcomes Man City chance

Andreas Isaksson is determined to use his unexpected Manchester City debut to establish himself as Stuart Pearce's number one keeper.

The Swedish World Cup star has been dogged by injury since his £2million summer arrival from Rennes, allowing Nicky Weaver to leapfrog above him in the City pecking order.

However, when Weaver was unable to continue after suffering a dead leg in the collision with Louis Saha that saw United grab their second goal at Old Trafford, Isaksson stepped into the breach in impressive fashion.

The 25-year-old pulled off a hat-trick of fine stops to deny Wayne Rooney alone and even though Weaver is expected to be fit for Sunday's home encounter with Tottenham, Isaksson could yet retain his place.

'It is never easy for a goalkeeper to come on like that but I felt I made some good saves,' Isaksson told the Manchester Evening News.

'I haven't played since the World Cup but I felt it went okay. I came here to play and I don't want to be a sub.

'I don't regret coming to City. I have just been unlucky because I needed an operation on my foot and then my ligament got torn in training.

'I hope my luck has changed now. I will do anything to play but it is the manager who decides, I can only do my best.'

Although Isaksson's performance presents Pearce with an obvious selection dilemma ahead of Spurs' visit to Eastlands this weekend, it is one he is happy to have.

And, with teenager Joe Hart already gaining some senior experience this term and Kasper Schmeichel impressing during a loan stint at Bury, the City boss believes he is well blessed in the goalkeeping department.

'Andreas has 44 caps for Sweden, so we know he can play,' said Pearce.

'He was outstanding against United but that just shows how well Nicky Weaver has been doing to keep him out.

'I hope Nicky is fit for next week because that will put me under pressure as to who I have to pick.

'I feel both my third and fourth choice goalkeepers are good enough to play in the Premiership.

'In a sense, we have an embarrassment of riches in that department but we need that kind of fierce competition to keep the pressure on them all.'