We must deliver now – Marshall
DAVID CUFFLEY Goalkeeper David Marshall admits there is no time to lose as he and his new team-mates look to steer Norwich City away from the wrong end of the Coca-Cola Championship table.
Goalkeeper David Marshall admits there is no time to lose as he and his new team-mates look to steer Norwich City away from the wrong end of the Coca-Cola Championship table.
Marshall, on loan from Celtic, is set for his home debut against Wolves tonight (7.45pm), well aware that anxious supporters will be looking for an upturn in results after a depressing run of just one win in eight league games has left the Canaries in 17th place.
The 21-year-old Scotland international was impressive on his debut in Saturday's 1-1 draw in the FA Cup fourth round at Blackpool, and said he relished the prospect of his first appearance at Carrow Road.
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He said: “I've been to the stadium and it looks a great place to play. The boys say it's full every week, so support's been great this season, and hopefully I can do well for them.
“I think these are a big two games for us. We have to take one at a time, and if we get a few more points it will get us back up that league.
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“You don't get a lot of time. The fans want results so hopefully we can get through that barrier and just get some wins.”
Marshall was kept busy at Bloomfield Road, especially in the second half when he made four important saves, but played down his role in earning a replay.
He said: “I was under a bit of pressure the last 10 or 20 minutes, but I was just happy to do my bit. I think they were saves I should have made. I would have been disappointed if I didn't make them.
“I think it was a fair result under the circumstances. We were happy just to get it back for a replay and hopefully we can see it through in the next game.”
The presence of former Celtic team-mate Dion Dublin - rated “very doubtful” for tonight's game with an ankle injury - had helped Marshall through his first outing for City behind an unfamiliar defence, he said.
“I knew Dion from up the road. He was great and we struggled a bit when he went off, because of his organisation and that,” said Marshall.
“But I think I've got to know the boys now. With the Burnley game being off, that gave me an extra week to get to know them.”
Wolves, he warned, would be eager to regain their pride after a 3-0 mauling on their own ground by West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup on Sunday.
“I just watched the goals this morning. They'll be a little bit disappointed with it being a derby and also they've not got a lot of rest in between, but maybe that's good for them because they just want to get another game under their belts. So we just have to get right and get our minds focused because I'm sure they'll put up a better performance than they did at the weekend.”
If Dublin is ruled out, midfielder Carl Robinson could carry on in defence for City after playing the final half-hour at Blackpool alongside Gary Doherty.
Jason Shackell is unlikely to figure because of his injured left ankle, while club captain Craig Fleming is in the bizarre position of not being able to play for either side. He is on loan to Wolves but barred from playing against City, but neither can he be recalled from his loan.
Chris Brown is suspended after his sending-off at Blackpool, so with top scorer Robert Earnshaw a long-term casualty after his groin operation, manager Peter Grant has to make more changes in attack. Darren Huckerby could continue in a more central role, with Peter Thorne, Paul McVeigh, Ryan Jarvis and Chris Martin all possible contenders for a place in the starting line-up.
Yellow cards pose a further threat to Grant's selection plans with skipper Adam Drury suspended for the game against Leeds on Saturday and three more players - Jürgen Colin, Lee Croft and Dickson Etuhu - one booking away from a ban.
Grant backed Marshall's verdict on Wolves when he said he expected play-off contenders Wolves to be a different proposition tonight.
“I think they are a very good side, but they struggled because of the fact they had a few boys cup-tied and a couple of boys just coming back from injury who missed Sunday's game but will be available for our game,” he said.
“We know they will make three or four changes to the team.
“Mick is old enough and wise enough to say the most important thing to him is the league and that is what he will be saying. He knows he has got good players to come back into his side now. We know they are a very good side with very good players and a manager who is very competitive and will be very disappointed at the loss on Sunday. I know what Mick is like, so he wants to make sure it doesn't happen twice on the bounce.”