Bartosz Bialkowski typifies Ipswich Town's strength in depth, says former manager George Burley
PUBLISHED: 11:53 11 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:53 11 December 2014
George Burley believes current first-choice keeper Bartosz Bialkowski typifies the strength in depth that is currently serving Ipswich Town so well.
Bialkowski, recently named Town’s Player of the Month for October, has kept three clean sheets in six league games since taking over from the injured Dean Gerken, the latter now having to make do with a place on the bench.
The 27-year-old Pole was signed as an 18-year-old by Burley, during the Scot’s time as Southampton manager, but had to build his reputation at League One outfit Notts County following an injury set-back.
“There is definitely competition for places throughout the squad and there will be some experienced players that are disappointed not to be playing more regularly,” said Burley, the last manager to guide Town to the top-flight.
“Bartosz is a prime example of a player that looked as though he wasn’t going to get an opportunity. When it came, he grabbed his chance with both hands.
“For me, when he was 17, he was in the Richard Wright mould, a terrific goalkeeper, but he had a bad cruciate injury that knocked him back three or four years.
“He is now showing now what a quality keeper he is.”
On Saturday, Town head to in-form Bolton, a team that have won all four home games under new manager Neil Lennon.
“It’s another big test,” said Burley. “The key is to keep consistent and do what has served them well so far this season. Mick (McCarthy) has got a good squad he can rely on and has options if he needs to change things. There’s a long way to go but it’s very encouraging at the moment.”