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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 10 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 29, 2007

Sven: Kasper will stay as City keeper

Kasper Schmeichel has been told he will remain Manchester City's first-choice goalkeeper even though experienced Andreas Isaksson is back in full training.

Schmeichel, 20, the son of Manchester United great Peter, has been an outstanding success this season, taking advantage of injuries to Isaksson and England Under-21 goalkeeper Joe Hart to claim a first-team place.

But now manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has Isaksson back in full training there is likely to be renewed competition for Schmeichel.

Eriksson may well shuffle his pack anyway tonight in the Carling Cup at Bristol City, with Hart likely to get a run-out.

But Eriksson insists that will not happen on a permanent basis.

He said: 'Isaksson is doing more or less everything now in training, although he will obviously not be involved at Bristol.

'He could well be available for selection after the international break. That gives me a good problem.

'Kasper has done very well and if I had all three of my keepers available, including Joe Hart, I can see no reason why I would change Schmeichel now.

'He has been absolutely perfect, so it is up to the others to show me that they are better. I have not spoken to Kasper about this, he's 20 years old so I do not put pressure on him.

'If he continues to play like this, why should I change now? But it is a long season, many things can happen.

'But he has shown such maturity for someone so young and you feel his presence around the box even for a lad who is not the tallest keeper.

'He is very brave, he talks to his defenders, he has been absolutely fantastic for us.

'His penalty save at Arsenal was excellent, and when that happened I felt we would get something from the game. I am sure that was the feeling of a lot of people watching.

'He reminds me a lot of his father, he comes off his line well and makes himself big, although his father was taller and bigger than he is.'

Eriksson is delighted with the youth prospects he has found at the club - Michael Johnson has signed new four-and-a-half-year contract and teenage full-back Shaleum Logan has agreed a new deal as well.

Logan will also be given his debut at Ashton Gate having impressed in pre-season.

It seems likely the City chief will rest the likes of Dietmar Hamann, Richard Dunne and Micah Richards. That could mean Croatian Vedran Corluka moving to the centre of defence.

Striker Rolando Bianchi, substitute in the last two matches, could also start against the Coca-Cola Championship side.

Eriksson is also trying to offload squad players Paul Dickov, Danny Mills, Bernardo Corradi, Georgios Samaras and Darius Vassell before the transfer window shuts.