Marshy's plenty to shout about
David Cuffley Goalkeeper David Marshall was today hailed as the quiet man behind Norwich City's climb up the Coca-Cola Championship table.The 22-year-old Scotland international is the Canaries' only ever-present this season in all competitions and is set to make his 40th appearance of the campaign in tomorrow's home game against Blackpool at Carrow Road (3pm).
Goalkeeper David Marshall was today hailed as the quiet man behind Norwich City's climb up the Coca-Cola Championship table.
The 22-year-old Scotland international is the Canaries' only ever-present this season in all competitions and is set to make his 40th appearance of the campaign in tomorrow's home game against Blackpool at Carrow Road (3pm).
Marshall has kept four clean sheets in the last seven games and has been beaten more than once in only one of the last 15 league matches - the dependable last line of a defence whose collective effort has delighted manager Glenn Roeder.
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“I have been very pleased with David. His performances have been very good,” said Roeder. “I think he has been well protected by the back four overall, but when he has had to make saves he has done so and he certainly kept the score down at Leicester when he made some terrific stops in the first half.
“He is a young goalkeeper, 22, and for me he is still serving his apprenticeship. David is probably seven or eight years away from being at his best.
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“David James is 37 and playing the best football of his career.”
One area the City management have worked on is trying to encourage Marshall to be more vocal.
“When I first came to the club I knew David was from Scotland but he could have had a Welsh accent for all I knew because he was so quiet. There is no doubt he is the quietest man in the squad,” said Roeder.
“But he trains very hard and he is getting better and better at talking to his defenders.”
Marshall was one of the stars of City's 3-1 victory at Blackpool in November, saving a penalty from Wes Hoolahan with the score at 2-1.
“I hope he doesn't have to face one tomorrow,” said Roeder.
Marshall has also been scoring points with the soccer statisticians, who rank him number two goalkeeper in the division.
In last week's home game against Barnsley, he helped himself to the top score of the round for a 'keeper in the Actim Index, the official player ratings system of the Championship.
Marshall, who will be 23 next Wednesday, earned 24 points for his part in City's 1-0 win - which lifted them into the top half of the table - retaining his spot as Norwich's top-ranked player this term.
Only Bristol City's Adriano Basso has more points for a 'keeper.
Roeder has a selection dilemma for tomorrow's match, but one he welcomes.
Skipper Mark Fotheringham and striker Dion Dublin are both available again after serving one-match suspensions, but Roeder must change a winning team if he to recall either of them.
Fotheringham could return in place of 18-year-old Kieran Gibbs, while Dublin must wait to see if he gets a recall in place of last week's captain and matchwinner, Jamie Cureton, or 19-year-old Ched Evans.
“I want that kind of problem every single week here,” said Roeder.
Midfielder Darel Russell will miss tomorrow's game and Tuesday's trip to Watford as he completes a three-match ban for his red card in the 4-0 defeat at Leicester a fortnight ago.