Boyce: Nicholls can be our No.1

Lee Nicholls (centre)
Lee Nicholls (centre)

EMMERSON Boyce reckons Owen Coyle will have a number of selection headaches in the coming weeks.

The Latics captain believes Lee Nicholls has done more than enough to push for a starting place and push Scott Carson for the jersey.

Carson suffered an ankle injury during the warm-up at Charlton last month which allowed Nicholls to make his debut.

The 21-year-old has been in impressive form since being given the nod, keeping three clean sheets in five appearances, much to the delight of Boyce.

“Lee has come in and has done excellent, he’s been chucked in at the deep end and he’s shone,” he said.

“He’s been training with us for the last two years or so, so he knows everyone in the first team. I think sometimes it’s good that you get chucked in as you have less time to think and that’s what he did against Charlton.

“Out of nowhere he pulled off some great saves and kept a clean sheet, which will have done his confidence a world of good.

“In the last few games he’s done really well. Carson will have a fight to get back his place. All Lee can do is keep his clean sheets, perform well and give the manager something to think about.

“He’s done that and that’s helped his cause so I think Carson will be a bit nervous about getting back into the first team.

“It just shows the confidence in the team, everyone is starting to gel and we’re moving up the table.”

Boyce believes the same selection dilemma applies to Ivan Ramis.

The Spanish defender has been missing since last season but is closing in on a return.

“Ivan was a quality player for us before he got injured and he has scored a couple of our goals,” added Boyce.

“He’s been training with us for the last couple of months, obviously he had quite a bad injury, when he can start playing in games he will be a huge asset.

“It’s another headache for the manager – whose place is he going to take?

“Everyone is doing quite well in terms of keeping clean sheets. It’s good competition for places, we’ve got so many games coming up and the manager is going to have a happy dilemma.”