Belfast Telegraph

I had faith I'd earn recall: Marshall


Stopper: David Marshall has regained Scotland’s No.1 spot
Stopper: David Marshall has regained Scotland’s No.1 spot

By Ronnie Esplin

David Marshall insists he always retained self belief despite almost three years on the Scotland sidelines.

Steve Clarke's first game in charge against Cyprus at Hampden Park on Saturday night saw the Hull goalkeeper recalled to the starting line-up for the first time since a 3-0 defeat in Slovakia in October 2016.

The 34-year-old made several saves as the Scots battled their way to a 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory thanks to a late winner from substitute Oli Burke.

As he looked forward to the trip to Belgium tomorrow night, Marshall said: "You always believe in yourself.

"Obviously the season before last I didn't play at club level so that takes you out of the international scene.

"But at the back of my mind, I felt that if I could get back playing club level I could get back to the level again that I could come here and play.

"I just kept the belief and I have managed to get back in so I will try to play as long as I can."

Marshall acknowledged the quality that Group I leaders Belgium possess but insists the pressure is off Scotland.

The former Celtic, Norwich and Cardiff player said: "They are probably one of the top two or three sides in the world, if not the best at the minute.

"We know what we face. The pressure was on us on Saturday night and it transfers to them.

"But we need to try and pick up points. Obviously we dropped the points in Kazakhstan so we will need to get the points from somewhere, maybe unexpectedly and hopefully on Tuesday."

Boss Clarke hailed his players for handling the pressure after Oliver Burke's late winner against Cyprus kept them alive in their Euro 2020 group.

"I'm pleased for the players. I thought the way they have worked this week going into the game that we would be good enough to win the game.

"We put ourselves in a position to win the game with a great strike from Andy Robertson.

"From there I thought we had really good control of the game. I couldn't see Cyprus scoring from open play.

"But unfortunately we switched off from a set-play and got severely punished for it.

"But after that, the character of the players to come back and the resilience (shone through).

"It would have been easy for them to feel sorry for themselves but they didn't and I think that bodes well for the future."

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