Marshall's a medal-winner in waiting

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle wants to plant a medal on forgotten goalkeeper Andy Marshall.The former England Under-21 international has not figured in Royle's first-team plans since the end of last season.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle wants to plant a medal on forgotten goalkeeper Andy Marshall.

The former England Under-21 international has not figured in Royle's first-team plans since the end of last season.

Kelvin Davis was signed from Wimbledon during the close-season and has played in every match this campaign.

Teenager Lewis Price is now the accepted number two and has sat on the bench for all the league and cup matches Town have played.

Marshall's employment has consisted of one reserve game and he often spends his Saturday afternoons doing family chores around the house.

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Royle, who made a conscious decision to disregard Marshall after the former Norwich City custodian suffered a disappointing 2002/03 campaign, yesterday won the October First Division manager of the month award.

Today he showered 28-year-old Marshall with wholesome praise.

Royle said: "Andy deserves a medal for the way he has conducted himself. He has been playing as well in training as I have seen him and some other club will benefit from his skills.

"Circumstances have gone against him since he came to Suffolk from Norwich City.

"Andy has not always performed with distinction since my arrival, although he did have some very good matches, particularly away from home, where the pressure on him was not so great."

Marshall arrived on a Bosman transfer from Carrow Road and his contract reflected this at a time when Ipswich were looking for a replacement for Richard Wright. It ends next June, when Marshall is expected to move on.

In the meantime, it looks as though he will sit out his lucrative Town deal in these more austere financial times for the game.

"I can't see any future for myself at Portman Road," said Marshall, who should now be reaching the peak of his profession. "I know what is happening, and know the situation.

"It is pointless sulking and I just get on with it, keeping my head down and doing everything right.

"It is a situation that I don't feel I warrant, but I'm not kidding myself that it's going to get any better.

"I'm enjoying training and when the right move comes I will know and I will be ready. My day will come again, as cream always rises to the top.

"It is nice that Joe has said some complimentary things about me. He has kept me involved in training

sessions, which I appreciate.

"He has also had a number of chats with me to see how I am dealing with the situation."

Whether Marshall would come back into the reckoning if Davis were to be injured is a question that Royle is keeping to himself.

"We will look at that one if it happens," he said.

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