Marshall: Performance difference required
Chris Lakey Canaries keeper David Marshall played a major role in keeping a rampant Ipswich at bay yesterday - but believes another loss of form could prove costly.
Canaries keeper David Marshall played a major role in keeping a rampant Ipswich at bay yesterday - but believes another loss of form could prove costly.
City went into the derby on the back of two good home wins, over Colchester and Burnley, which sandwiched an unlucky 2-1 defeat at high-flying Bristol City.
But despite going ahead early on at Portman Road, they spent long periods under the cosh.
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Marshall saved well from Shefki Kuqi and then Alex Bruce from a corner before saving his best for the second half, when he denied man of the match Pablo Counago a deserved goal when he stuck out his left boot to steer a shot by the Spaniard wide of a post.
But while the Scot believes relegation isn't on the agenda, he admitted there has to be a vast improvement when second-placed West Brom come to Carrow Road next weekend.
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"We just have to keep ourselves right and focus on the next game," said Marshall. "We're four points clear and there are only nine points left to play for so it will be hard for other teams to catch us - but I think we need a big difference in performance next week. It is the same as any derby but there were a lot of other things riding on it. We are still not clear of relegation so it's a bad day all round.
"We never played well. I suppose it could have been a lot more, but it doesn't matter if it's 2-1 or 6-1, you're beaten and it's against your local rivals so it's disappointing.
"We never really turned up. We can't really complain about the result."
Marshall was a spectator as Ched Evans put City ahead with four minutes on the clock, but eight minutes later he was picking the ball out of his net after defender Alex Pearce made a mess of clearing Danny Haynes' cross.
From then on, Marshall put in the full shift while his opposite number, Stephen Bywater struggled to justify his wage packet.
"If you could pick something for the first 10 minutes it would be an early goal and to shut the game down, but after that we just never turned up," Marshall said.
"In recent weeks we have been playing really well and maybe not getting the results we deserved, but today we can't complain.
"We got the early goal, but I didn't think we passed the ball better, I don't think we competed all over the park, and I think Ipswich deserved the victory.
"It's not nice, especially at a place like this. We expected a lot better and we never realty created a lot. I don't think Bywater had much to do."