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Alex 'near England squad'

12 November 2013

Adkins' keeper praise

Manager Nigel Adkins says Alex McCarthy cannot be far away from the England squad - and has backed the 'keeper to become even better in the future.

McCarthy was named Sky's Man of the Match against QPR after some stunning saves, and the 23-year-old has put in a number of top class displays this season.

One stop in particular from Junior Hoilett, down to his left just before half time, drew particular praise from the boss.

Adkins said, "It was a fantastic save. I keep highlighting to Alex that he is an exceptional goalkeeper. He comes and catches crosses better than anyone and his shot stopping is magnificent.

"We want him to be a top four international goalkeeper, and the lead-up to that was from a poor bit of distribution. But you know what, he'll be fantastic when we get him right.

"Is he far away from England? No, not at all. I know they'll monitor all the keepers and I spoke to Roy after he went to Brazil with the squad in the summer. That was important, all he can do is keep playing on the pitch."

Only two English goalkeepers started in the Premier League this weekend - John Ruddy and Steve Harper - and Adkins says that playing games is key for our 'keeper.

He commented, "There's several young English goalkeepers, I'm on my soapbox now but they need to go and play. Many have signed for Premier League clubs but can't get a game, they go out on loan which is better.

"I like to think that the way we play out from the back will be beneficial [to Alex], playing from the back, that can improve as a young keeper but his shotstopping is exceptional and his ability to take crosses is as good as anyone."

QPR's Joey Barton also sang Alex's praises, saying to Sky Sports, "Reading gave us a right game and if it wasn't for the big man we could have been three up after 15 minutes. It's a tough League, Reading had a couple of difficult results before this but like I say gave us a right game. Keepers can make the difference and he certainly did that for Reading."

See full highlights from the QPR game on YouTube now.

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