Welsh call-up puts pressure on Town

Chris Maxwell
Chris Maxwell
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FLEETWOOD Town goalkeeper Chris Maxwell has been denied his debut in the Capital One Cup clash with Nottingham Forest at Highbury on Monday night.

He has been called up for training with the Welsh under-21 international squad prior to their clash with Armenia on Wednesday.

It means that Scott Davies will be in goal, with a goalkeeper from the youth ranks on the substitutes’ bench.

As manager Micky Mellon pointed out, it is a first for the club, as they get first hand experience of the club versus country debate.

The Fleetwood boss said: “We pay the player’s wages, but Wales get the nod.

“I am all for players getting international recognition, but we don’t have the luxury like Premier League teams of having three goalkeepers. I think Wales still have a chance of qualifying, and their manager Geraint Williams wants Maxwell with the squad.”

By contrast, another new signing, Conor McLaughlin, recruited in the close season from Preston North End, has been released from the Northern Ireland squad, and is free to play against Forest if selected.

Damien Johnson, signed from Huddersfield during the summer, is still suffering from ankle ligament sustained on the pre-season tour of Austria, and Fleetwood are monitoring his progress in the run-up to the Forest clash.

Striker Jon Parkin is having a knee injury assessed, but he should be ready for the visit of Forest when Fleetwood host the twice European Cup winners in a milestone match.

Mellon said: “The pre-season is over and we are ready to go.

“Nottingham Forest have been big hitters in English football, and have the ability to bounce back up and we are where we are.”

Nottingham Forest have confirmed the signing of Daniel Ayala from Norwich City on a season-long loan deal, and he could figure at Fleetwood on Monday.

The 21-year-old is the sixth arrival at the City Ground this summer as they look to construct a competitive Championship squad.

His switch to the Championship side will provide him with the opportunity to secure regular first-team football, something that could not be guaranteed at Carrow Road.

Forest chairman Omar Al 
Hasawi said: “It is pleasing to have signed a player with such a wonderful pedigree.

“He’s only 21 but has experienced life in the Premier League, as well as in the Championship, and adds to the defensive resources at Sean O’Driscoll’s disposal.”

The Spain Under-21 international made five Premier League appearances for Liverpool before last summer’s switch to Norwich in a £800,000 deal.