Marshall looks to thwart Town
JOE Royle knows what a clean sheet would mean to ex-Ipswich keeper Andy Marshall upon his return to Portman Road on Saturday.Marshall will be in goal for a Millwall side fighting to survive in the Championship and, like play-off hopefuls Town, desperate for every point they can muster.
JOE Royle knows what a clean sheet would mean to ex-Ipswich keeper Andy Marshall upon his return to Portman Road on Saturday.
Marshall will be in goal for a Millwall side fighting to survive in the Championship and, like play-off hopefuls Town, desperate for every point they can muster.
He will be out to frustrate Ipswich in their bid to secure a third successive top six finish, while at the same time boosting his present side's survival hopes.
Royle allowed the former Norwich and England Under-21 number one to join the Lions, initially on loan and then on a free transfer, two years ago.
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And on the corresponding weekend in 2004 - March 13 to be precise - Marshall was back with his new club as they stunned Ipswich to triumph 3-1.
Last season's game resulted in a 2-0 win for Town, when Marshall was an unused substitute and Graham Stack, on loan from Arsenal at the time, was in goal.
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So Saturday's fixture will see Marshall bidding to preserve an unbeaten record, albeit restricted to just one game, with Millwall at Portman Road.
Royle said: “Andy didn't have the best of times here, for one reason or another, and he would probably like nothing better than to keep a clean sheet.
“We want to win it and collect another three points but I will be reminding our players that it will be a tricky game and certainly no walkover.
“I know Millwall are third from bottom in the Championship but I don't see them as one of the worst three teams at this level.
“Willie Donachie went to see them beat Luton at the weekend and he confirmed they are playing a lot better than you might expect of a team near the foot of the table.
“They still have players who other clubs would relish having and anyone thinking this is going to be easy could have a big shock coming.”
While Town had a weekend off due to the cancellation of their scheduled fixture at Preston, the lowly Lions were defeating Luton 2-1 to move within two points of fourth-bottom Sheffield Wednesday.
Their survival prospects have been enhanced by the arrival of Scottish international midfielder Colin Cameron on loan from Wolves.
Royle added: “Cameron has been a thorn in our side in the past, while striker Carl Asaba has always been a hard player to play against.
“We were desperate for a win when we went to The Den back in August and we managed to get it. Now, while we are looking forward to Saturday's game and another win would be great, there can be no room for complacency.”
It was Sam Parkin who grabbed an 80th minute clincher in Town's 2-1 win and Royle is looking forward to the £500,000 striker being back in action before the end of the current campaign.
Parkin, who broke his ankle in November, suffered a recent setback to his comeback plans, but both he and Nicky Forster, who has needed two cartilage operations this season, are edging closer to a return.
N ADAM Proudlock has been ruled out for the rest of the season following a knee operation.
The luckless forward who has been suffering from tendonitis around the knee went into hospital yesterday and the surgeon decided remedial work was needed.
He will be out for at least six weeks.
N IPSWICH Town are on target to sell the same amount of season tickets as last year.
Ticket office manager John Ford was in optimistic mood when he said: “The pattern is very similar to last year in terms of numbers of supporters buying their season tickets.”