Sibierski surprised by Norwich's quality
Chris Lakey Antoine Sibierski says Canaries keeper David Marshall is good enough to play in the Premier League - and admits the quality in the Norwich City squad has taken him by surprise.
Antoine Sibierski says Canaries keeper David Marshall is good enough to play in the Premier League - and admits the quality in the Norwich City squad has taken him by surprise.
The French striker knows all about the top flight, having plied his trade there for five years with Manchester City, Newcastle and Wigan. Marshall (pictured below) was off his radar until he joined City on loan a month ago, but it didn't take long for the Scotland stopper - who saved a penalty at Barnsley on Saturday - to impress him.
"I didn't know him, to be fair, when I first came to Norwich, but in training and in games I have seen he has got really good quality," said Sibierski. "We won against Sheffield United at home - Lee Croft scored a great goal, but David Marshall had two great saves in the first half and second half and against Barnsley he saved a penalty kick. He is a quality keeper, and he has got the qualities to play in the Premier League."
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Sibierski admitted he was surprised at the quality he found around him, but added: "I know the manager and he asks his players to play football - so he is going to bring in footballers. Even if many of them are very young they are very, very good footballers. They want to play football and they want to keep the ball on the floor.
"Not always, but sometimes, we have to play in the air as well - but the first thing is to try and play football and we have the quality to do that. I have been surprised but I am happy because you have got more chance to enjoy it when you play football and your team-mates play football."
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At 34, Sibierski is the oldest player in the City squad - but says actions speak louder than words of advice.
"I am not going to tell them, I am not going to show them what they have to do - it is not me," he said. "The best example I can give is my commitment on the pitch, what I can bring to Norwich City, and when you have done some good things on the pitch in games, that is the best thing you can do to show a kid and to let them know that is what you have to do to be a good professional in the future.
"But they have got quality, they are goods lads as well. They are not big time Charlies and that's a very good thing as well."
A goal would do nicely, after Sibierski was denied by the brilliance of Barnsley keeper Heinz Muller on Saturday.
"Against QPR as well I had a shot which was saved by a centre-back and against Sheffield United I had a great strike, but the keeper saved it and against Barnsley the keeper saved the header," he said.
"I am on target, that is the main thing for a striker. I don't worry because I know as soon as you are on target it is going to come. I have to keep my strike on target."
Sibierski will be sporting the remnants of a black eye tonight - but says he is fortunate to have escaped a broken knee after a challenge by Rob Kozluk.
"I am a bit uglier than usual," he laughed. "I was afraid because he could have broken my knee. I had to have great reflexes to avoid that. He hasn't been booked, but I think that's the Championship and I have to deal with that.
"It's more physical than the Premiership, but I am not going to complain about anything. When you get kicked, when you get pushed, the main thing is to do stuff with the ball and to score goals to win - that's the best answer."