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Rudd poised for first start

PUBLISHED: 07:30 29 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 06 July 2010

Declan Rudd looks certain to win the battle of the goalkeepers tonight after Paul Lambert opted not to appeal against Fraser Forster's sending off at the weekend.

Declan Rudd looks certain to win the battle of the goalkeepers tonight after Paul Lambert opted not to appeal against Fraser Forster's sending off at the weekend.

The 18-year-old from Diss will make his first senior start, against Leyton Orient, with Aussie Michael Theoklitos having to settle for a place on the bench.

Theoklitos hasn't played for City since letting in seven goals on the opening day - against a Colchester side then managed by Lambert - but the man from Down Under is a rank outsider to face the men from the Orient.

The 28-year-old hasn't featured in any of Lambert's squads and appears to have been completely frozen out of the first team picture - but the City boss says he has to be prepared for a call-up.

"He has got to be ready," said Lambert. "You can only have that in your head for so long. As I said to Michael, the seven goals weren't all his fault, I saw them. You can't blame Michael for the result that's for sure."

Lambert will make his final decision today, but Rudd - who came on at Gillingham on Saturday after Forster was red-carded - has the advantage, especially after producing a couple of quality saves to keep City in with a shout before Darel Russell's last-gasp equaliser.

"He will come into the fray - whether I go with him I will decide tomorrow," Lambert said yesterday.

Lambert said there would be no appeal against Forster's dismissal after the on-loan Newcastle keeper was adjudged to have brought down Curtis Weston in the area - a decision made all the more galling when referee Paul Taylor turned down a late City appeal for a challenge on Grant Holt.

"The view of it is not great," said Lambert. "The referee was adamant after the game that it was a penalty and I don't think he is ever going to rescind the decision. I think if he did it makes Grant's open up as well so I think there are too many mishaps that can go on. I just don't think we can get anywhere.

"I remember appealing one at Wycombe - it was never a sending off in its life and I lost that so I've not got a good record on appealing."

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