Webster reveals Marshall secret

IPSWICH Town goalkeeper coach Malcolm Webster today revealed the secret to Andy Marshall's turnaround in form.Marshall is back to his best after a mid-season slump that twice cost him his place in Joe Royle's first-choice line-up.

By Dave Allard

IPSWICH Town goalkeeper coach Malcolm Webster today revealed the secret to Andy Marshall's turnaround in form.

Marshall is back to his best after a mid-season slump that twice cost him his place in Joe Royle's first-choice line-up.

Webster helped Marshall rediscover top form after taking the 27-year-old former Norwich star back to basics.

And he admits Blues fans expect high standards from their keepers because Town have had a string of top number ones – including Paul Cooper and Richard Wright – in the past.

"We went through it from top to bottom and we've been seeing the benefits out there on the field from Andy again," said Webster.

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Marshall – an ex-England Under-21 international – was dropped for the second time this season just ahead of last month's 2-2 home draw with Grimsby as young reserve James Pullen came in for a one-off league debut.

Earlier in the campaign, Marshall was axed to make way for Paul Gerrard, who was on-loan from Everton.

After his latest axing, Webster and the out-of-sorts keeper went through a back-to-basics routine that has resulted in the player showing steady and consistent form over the last six games since his return.

"You don't just lose your ability, the quality is always there," said Webster, who piloted the career of England international Richard Wright at Portman Road before his move on to Arsenal and Everton.

Webster, an ex-Arsenal, Fulham, Cambridge and Southend keeper, admitted: "Sometimes it's hard to find answers to problems that occur out there on the field. I don't mind admitting that I sought advice – I spoke to other goalkeeper coaches about it.

"Whatever the whys and wherefores, Andy went through a long line of hard work and he has come out of the other side a better keeper as a result."

Town fans are now beginning to appreciate the ex-Canary man more and more and Marshall began his good run back in the side with a clean sheet in the 2-0 derby win at Norwich on March 2.

Indifferent shows by Marshall in the past had supporters on his back.

But Webster doesn't believe that it's just the ex-Norwich factor that was behind it.

He said: "Down the years, the Ipswich crowd have been used to seeing top keepers in action here, going back to Paul Cooper and coming through to Richard Wright.

"It's taken Andy a time to get to the sort of form he wants here and that's not saying he hasn't done well at other times. I just feel that he's struck a right chord and got into a consistent run.

"He knows that he has to maintain it.

"The hard work has to continue."

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