Norwich City old boy Andy Marshall opts to hedge bets ahead of play-offs

Andy Marshall in goal for Ipswich Town against former club Norwich City.

Andy Marshall in goal for Ipswich Town against former club Norwich City.

He's played on both sides of the divide, but former goalkeeper Andy Marshall would love to see Ipswich Town and Norwich City both in the Premier League.

The 40-year-old former City trainee made a controversial switch to the Blues in 2001 after coming through the ranks at Carrow Road before going on to make 65 appearances for their bitter rivals.

Marshall, now working in the Premier League as a development coach at Aston Villa, is a veteran of eight derbies and played in the big time with the Blues but ahead of today's first-leg of the Championship play-off duel at Portman Road, Marshall insists the difference between then and now is like 'night and day' as the East Anglian rivals fight to reach the top flight.

'I was really hoping Norwich were going up automatically and I really hoped that Ipswich would make the play-offs,' said Marshall.

'It would be phenomenal if one of them made it to the Premier League, it provides an extra buzz and brings new income into the area.

'I am sure if Norwich go up they might look to improve Carrow Road and I am sure the same would be true at Portman Road, that was always David Sheepshanks' vision.'

Given the magnitude of today's latest East Anglian tussle, with the second leg at Carrow Road next weekend, is Marshall edging towards one camp or the other?

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'I'm sitting firmly on the fence' he admitted. 'I had good times at both clubs and played for both at pivotal parts of my career.

'The game is one for the fans and if you can be lucky enough to play in a derby, it's a fantastic occasion.

'The derbies usually have a bit more spice but, with what's on offer this time, nothing will come close to these two games.'