Big deal for father to be Joe

Joe Lewis at Bloomfield Road yesterday
Joe Lewis at Bloomfield Road yesterday
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Blackpool finally ended their goalkeeping crisis last night – and the move to Bloomfield Road may not be the only big decision Joe Lewis has to make this week.

The Cardiff City keeper has signed on a season-long loan and will go straight into the side to face Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Pool paid an undisclosed fee to secure the 26-year-old, with the option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season.

Lewis makes the move to the Fylde coast with his fiancee Kirsty four days overdue.

The couple are awaiting the birth of their first child but Lewis insists he will be making his Pool debut this weekend.

“If the baby comes on Saturday morning, then I’m afraidI’ll be missing the birth,” he told The Gazette.

“My fiancee is very understanding anyway. She realises how important my football is but hopefully she won’t go into labour on Saturday!”

The departures of Matt Gilks, Mark Halstead and Chris Kettings left Pool without a professional keeper throughout pre-season but Lewis brings bags of experience.

He made over 200 appearances for Peterborough before a frustrating two years at Cardiff City, where the form of David Marshall restricted him to just five appearances, one of them in the Premier League at Hull last season.

And Lewis is now desperate to be a no.1 at Bloomfield Road. He said: “At Cardiff I’ve had to make do with a couple of cup games and it was pretty frustrating. I knew I had to get out and play some regular football.

“It’s great to come to a club like Blackpool and hopefully make the no.1 position my own. As a goalkeeper you need to be playing games and that’s what I’m here to do now.

“But it was a great experience to be involved with a Premier League club and I want to play in it again. I can’t wait to get started now.

Lewis knows Pool goalkeeping coach Paul Crichton well, having been his deputy at Norwich after coming through the Carrow Road youth system.

As for his late arrival before the big kick-off, Lewis added: “I don’t see that as a problem. I trained on Tuesday and can see it’s a good bunch of lads with a very good manager.

“I’ll just try and be vocal on Saturday and make up for the lack of knowledge I have about the players in front of me.

I’m sure we’ll quickly gain a relationship.

“A lot of clubs aren’t where they want to be throughout this pre-season.

“The press have jumped on Blackpool because it’s a bit of an extreme example, but it’s made no difference to me at all. I’m delighted to be here.”

Former England U21 keeper Lewis made the headlines six years ago, when he was twice called into the full England squad by Fabio Capello as emergency cover while he was with Posh.