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Graham keeps duo waiting

English Barclays Premiership

George Graham insisted nothing was cut and dried as far as his choice of number one goalkeeper is concerned after Saturday's friendly win at QPR.

Neil Sullivan played the whole game at Loftus Road and, having also played 90 minutes at Fulham in midweek, journalists at the post match press conference asked if the manager was leaning his way rather than Ian Walker's. Long-serving Walker hinted that he wouldn't be happy to sit on the bench in newspapers last week.

"I want competition for all positions and I haven't a problem with players saying that they don't want to sit on the bench," said Graham. "I'll make a decision when the time is right and that will be before the first game of the season.

"I've told both of them that the position is up for grabs and that shouldn't be any different from any other position on the pitch. It would be wrong of Ian to think I've already decided."

Our strikers also came under the spotlight. We have four top-class frontmen in Les Ferdinand, Sergei Rebrov, Steffen Iversen and Chris Armstrong, and Graham was asked which two might start come August 19.

He responded: "If you look at the top sides, they chop and change every week. Even star players, world-famous players, they all chop and change. That is the way the game is developing. You'll play certain games, then have a rest."

As for the game, Graham added: "I thought in the first half, considering the temperature, the boys played exceptionally well. The one and two-touch football was excellent.

"There were a lot of good performances from a lot of people but team-wise, and I emphasis team, that's the most important thing as far as I'm concerned. We look good as a unit.

"I think since I've joined the club the team has gradually got better. I would have liked to have got more players during last season but it wasn't to be. We've waited and I think the three signings are excellent.

"I just want to see progression next season. As long as we do better than we did last season, and I think we've got a better squad, we'll see where it takes us."