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Fantastic to face Frankie

5 December 2015

Paul Lambert and Rovers will come up against a familiar face in the opposition goal for Bristol City later today.

For Blackburn-born Frankie Fielding, who came through the ranks at Rovers, was also given his first senior outing by the club's new boss.

Lambert was in charge at Wycombe Wanderers when a goalkeeping crisis meant he had to call up two keepers on loan, with one of them being 19-year-old Fielding.

"We were playing Bradford City with Wycombe and we lost the two goalkeepers in training accidents within days of each other, so we needed two goalkeepers and one of them was Frankie," explained Lambert.

"I'd never seen them before but we'd spoke to Kevin Hitchcock who was the goalkeeping coach here at the time, and we watched a bit of footage of him and we decided to have a look.

"So he turned up at Bradford and it was brilliant, I'd never met the guys before and they are sat across the table and I just saw this little kid, he looked about nine, and when he opened his mouth I thought it was George Formby!

"The other goalkeeper was a big lad and I thought surely the big guy has got to be better. So I said to Laurence Batty, who is now the goalkeeping coach here, take these two kids to Bradford and phone me who I think we should go with and you better not get this wrong.

"So he phoned me at 1pm and he said go with the little one. I asked him if he was 100% sure and Laurence said yes.

"We beat Bradford up there 1-0 and towards the end of the game Frankie made two unbelievable saves. There was one heading into the top corner from a free-kick that he plucked out of the air, and another one he saved with his foot. They were two unbelievable saves, he was fantastic.

"And from that day on he was brilliant, an absolute top kid at that time, he's changed now but he was a brilliant kid, really was top.

"He was one of those that you hoped would do really well in his career because his enthusiasm for the game was exceptional and I believe he was like that when he was here.

"He was a great little kid so I've got nothing but good things to say about him."

Not at today's match at Ashton Gate? Listen to full 90-minute commentary on Rovers PlayerHD. Our broadcast will start at approximately 2.45pm.

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