Loan Watch: Norwegian Blue in pole position
- 29 April 2014 10:16
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Eirik Holmen Johansen has made it three games in a row between the sticks for Norwegian side Sandefjord.
The City EDS keeper was forced to sit on the bench for the first two competitive games of the season, but has now forced his way into the starting XI and is enjoying league and cup action.
Johansen chalked up 180 minutes this week, progressing to the next round of the cup after a 4-1 victory over Frigg Oslo, and recording his first competitive clean sheet for his new side this weekend – a 1-0 win over Ranheim.
The Norwegian season is in its early stages, so Eirik will be hoping to retain his place over the coming weeks.
Back in England, Emyr Huws continues to see plenty of action for Birmingham City in their fight to avoid relegation from the Championship.
The senior Welsh international played the full 90 minutes against Leeds, but could not prevent the Blues from slipping to a 3-1 loss, which means Lee Clark’s men have dropped into the relegation zone with just two matches left to play.
Huws was an injury doubt for this fixture, and was forced to play with a bandage around his head to protect a severe cut sustained in a clash with Jason Lowe in last week’s defeat to Blackburn Rovers.
Albert Rusnak played no part for the Blues.
In the Premier League, Gareth Barry again had the full complement of minutes but ended up on the losing side on this occasion – two unfortunate own goals ensuring Everton fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton.
That result has dealt the Toffees’ hopes of Champions League football a severe blow, and Barry will be unavailable for Everton’s next fixture, when City travel to Goodison Park on Saturday.
On the continent, Karim Rekik clocked up another 90 minutes as PSV got back to winning ways against PEC Zwolle. The defender has consistently impressed during his season-long spell with the Eredivisie side and is attracting attention from a host of European clubs – according to the papers at least!
Swedish striker John Guidetti was not involved for Stoke in their 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, who remain on course for a Europa League place.
The 22-year-old has found it difficult to clock up many minutes for the Potters under former Blues boss, Mark Hughes, but has told the media that he has learned a lot from his stint with the Premier League side.
Guidetti is quoted in the Daily Star as saying: “The fans have been great with me and the manager has played and managed at the very highest level and made an incredible career for himself.
“I have learned a lot from him out on the training pitch and I will always be grateful. I feel I’m getting stronger and better every day."
“I can also become a part of this club’s history in hopefully being part of the Stoke team which records its best Premier League finish.”
Meanwhile, George Evans was an unused sub as Crewe Alexandra picked up a crucial point thanks to a goalless draw with Bristol City.
After a strong start at Gresty Road, the midfielder has fallen down the pecking order and has struggled to win back his starting place. Alex manager, Steve Davis has urged Evans to take the chances that come his way.
Davis said: "He's disappointed he's not involved. He wants to be involved, but when he does get the chance he's got to do the business."
Alex Henshall played no part in Ipswich Town’s 1-0 defeat to high-flying Burnley, which ended any lingering hopes of a play-off place, while Scott Sinclair sat out West Brom’s 1-0 victory over West Ham.
Those three points have strengthened the Baggies’ bid for Premier League survival, and although Albion are not yet mathematically safe, they now hold a strong position with three games left to play.