Marshall holds hands up to mistakes

PUBLISHED: 10:58 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:05 10 September 2010

City No 1 David Marshall is targeting victories until the end of the season.

City No 1 David Marshall is targeting victories until the end of the season.

David Cuffley

Goalkeeper David Marshall is determined to eliminate individual errors as Norwich City fight for their Championship lives. The 23-year-old Scotland international admitted he felt responsible for goals conceded in the 3-3 draw at Wolves and the 2-1 home defeat by Bristol City earlier this month.

Goalkeeper David Marshall is determined to eliminate individual errors as Norwich City fight for their Championship lives.

The 23-year-old Scotland international admitted he felt responsible for goals conceded in the 3-3 draw at Wolves and the 2-1 home defeat by Bristol City earlier this month.

But Marshall, the Canaries' only ever-present player this season, is eager to make amends when City face promotion-chasing Burnley at Carrow Road on Saturday (3pm).

City slipped into the relegation places for the first time following Tuesday night's victories for fellow strugglers Watford and Barnsley, and they go into the match in 22nd spot.

Marshall has so far had to play behind no fewer than 12 different centre-half pairings this season, the latest when on-loan Jason Shackell was reunited with Gary Doherty in the heart of the defence in the 1-0 defeat at Preston. But the 'keeper does not seek to blame defensive upheaval for a couple of recent slips.

He said: “Ideally, you'd like the whole team to be settled and maybe use 16 or 17 players in a season but we've had a lot of loan players in and it doesn't settle down.

“But there are no excuses. Against Wolves and Bristol City I didn't play well enough for the team so it's nothing to do with what chops and changes in front of me, it's just my fault.

“I just feel for the boys and the fans and the club. We're in a bad position and it was bad timing to make mistakes. It doesn't play on my mind in terms of affecting my game, but because I really want to help the boys to get out of this position and keep the club in the division. That's all I want to think about.”

Midweek results did not help City's cause but Marshall said they had to concentrate on getting their own house in order.

He said: “I don't really bother with other people's results. Our results haven't been good enough and that's why we're there. It's nothing to do with anyone else. We just have to get enough points to stay up. If we don't, we'll not deserve it, so we're not looking at anybody else's results at all.

“Possibly, the fans will be on edge if we don't start well, we know that. But it's been our fault, the players' fault for however long we've been in a bad position.

“It's the first time we've been in the bottom three. There is going to be an extra edge in the game. But we knew how big the game was anyway. There are still some clubs with games in hand, so we need to win the majority of our last 13 games.”

City have seven home games left and nearly all their visitors are involved in the promotion or relegation shake-up.

Said Marshall: “People need wins and need to go for it - certainly in the last six or seven games there will be a lot of pressure involved. It's so tight, two or three wins and some of them are looking at play-offs, and two or three defeats they're right down there. I wish we weren't down the bottom but that's the position we're in and we have to deal with it.”

Burnley will be playing their 47th competitive match of the season on Saturday after reaching the Carling Cup semi-finals and FA Cup fifth round.

“They've had some good cup runs, which takes a lot out of you,” said Marshall. “I heard Owen Coyle speak the other night and he said they've not got a big squad so maybe they're feeling it a bit. They played on Tuesday night so it will be a tough game.

“They're up there and looking at getting into the play-offs, but again it's a home game. We think we're favourites going into the game because we look to beat anybody at Carrow Road, but we have to do it on the pitch this time. It's all right talking about it, but we have to really get results.”

Marshall and his fellow 'keepers have help from a new direction after the appointment of Paul Crichton as goalkeeping coach.

He said: “It's the fifth goalkeeping coach I've had here in a year and a half, so it's a bit crazy that way. But Paul's been here before and sees this as a chance for himself as well. The coaches can keep you right and you can bounce ideas off them but at the end of the day you've got to go out and perform.”

Marshall and reserve 'keeper Stuart Nelson made guest appearances at City of Norwich School yesterday at manager Bryan Gunn's goalkeeping day for youngsters.

He said: “I've been involved in them myself when I was a kid. A lot of lads look up to the local 'keepers, like Gunny and Robert Green, so it's a great turnout.

“Norwich have had a good few 'keepers over the years so I hope they get a few out of this school.”

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