Reds boss Lee Johnson is happy to let trio of goalkeepers fight for No.1 spot

Reds manager Lee Johnson
Reds manager Lee Johnson

Barnsley boss Lee Johnson is happy for his three goalkeepers to battle it out for Number One jersey next season.

The improving Adam Davies cemented a regular starting place between the posts last term after experienced shot-stopper Ross Turnbull was sidelined through injury.

But Turnbull has had back surgery and will return next season hungry to reclaim a starting role himself.

Aspiring keeper Christian Dibble played ten games on loan at Nuneaton Borough last season, but the 21-year-old is unlikely to force his way into the first team barring injuries to Davies and Turnbull.

Former Sheffield Wednesday shot-stopper Davies started last season for the Reds, but was replaced by Turnbull midway through the season.

In fact the 22-year-old didn’t play any games during October and November with Turnbull the preferred choice.

But Turnbull, who played 27 times last season - the most of all three of the club’s keepers - sustained his back injury and that allowed Davies a way back in.

Davies impressed with eight cleansheets and made 25 appearances. His reward was a new two-year contract and the bit between his teeth to challenge for a regular starting place.

“I think I’ve done enough to show that I’m good enough to be the number one, but I’m not taking anything for granted,” admitted Davies.

“I really enjoyed last season and want to kick on next season.

“Me and Ross both want to play as much as possible and, when he’s playing, I’ll support him.

“But when I’m playing I’m sure he’ll do the same. It’s part of being in the goalkeepers union, we both know the drill.”

Davies is the likely starter next season having been the last man to have the clubs during last season’s campaign.

But a lot can happen in pre-season, with injury, form and competition likely to be key factors in who Johnson chooses to start.

“The best keeper will play, it’s as simple as that,” Johnson told The Star.

“Adam Davies impressed me a lot last season and he deserved his new deal.

“He’s done really well ever since he came into the team and has shown a maturity in his game.

“When he was released by Sheffield Wednesday last season he probably didn’t think he’d play 25 first team games, but he did and he did well.

“We’ve got the best of both worlds to be honest, I don’t think there’s any stronger goalkeeping units in League One.

“And of course we’ve got young Christian Dibble who is a great prospect.”