Canary keeper David Marshall has dropped the first, small hint that his club future could lie elsewhere this summer – if only for the sake of his own international future.
A future that could yet lie down the M4 with Cardiff City reported to be hot on his heels. Out goes No1…
The 24-year-old City No1 found himself taking full advantage of Allan McGregor's V-sign misfortunes last week when he found himself all-but restored as Craig Gordon's No2 with a clean sheet for the 'B' team against their Northern Ireland counterparts.
It was a 3-0 success that started to ease the pain of relegation after that 4-2 disaster at Charlton Athletic.
But as the full implications of Norwich's demise to the third tier of English football started to sink in, so it was clear that Marshall would need to ponder long and hard as to where that left his own international ambitions.
Would Scots' boss George Burley take a second look at a keeper playing in League One for a living?
“There is a suggestion that going to League One I might fall off the radar,” Marshall told Scotland's Daily Record over the weekend as he fired the starting gun and the Bluebirds came, potentially, a-calling.
“People have said the Gaffer [Burley] is not really keen on people playing at that level. It's something I have to think about.”
It is clearly something for any Canary manager to think about too – whoever that person might be. For now, the club remained 'locked-down' on that front; bigger issues than the re-appointment of Bryan Gunn – or not – remained yet to be resolved.
Gunn, of course, has already gone on record as saying that he wanted a team of 'bosses' next season. Starting at the very back with the goalkeeper. And with both Declan Rudd and Jed Steer steaming up through the youth team ranks and money, inevitably, likely to be in short supply, there may well be a deal that suits either side.
“It was only a few days ago we went down but the club have to make a few decisions with players,” said Marshall, re-stating his desire to play on as high a stage as he can. It is a similar thought process that is likely to be going through the mind of Sammy Clingan this summer should those spring reports of Fulham's potential interest hold any substance.
Lee Croft – out of contract as of July 1 – has already got one, known admirer in Derby County. His chances of being seen again in a City shirt look slim-to-nil in the current climate.
“I want to play at the highest level as quickly as I can,” Marshall told the Record. “I've not spoken to the manager Bryan Gunn since the game on Sunday. He is going to ring me in the next couple of days and we will see what happens.
“If a club came in I would be silly to turn it down and stay in a lesser league, but the right move has got to come up. Norwich need to be happy to let me go as well so it's out of my hands a little bit.”
At least his return to the international fold eased a little of his relegation pain – and, in his mind, righted a ew wrongs after seeing McGregor leap-frog over him for the World Cup qualifier against Iceland.
“It's just a horrible time so it was nice to get a game and take my mind off it. It's definitely the worst moment of my life,” said the one-time Celtic Park starlet, looking back at last week's 3-0 success for the Scotland Bs.
“Being at a club like Celtic you're not going to experience anything like that. It's the first time for me.”
It was a bitter pill only sweetened by his elevation in the international pecking order after McGregor managed to shoot himself spectacularly in the foot.
“I've moved up a place but it's not the way you want to to do it,” said the Canary keeper. “It has been tough for me for the last few years, but now I'm getting my chance.
“I've been third choice behind Craig [Gordon] and Allan. With Allan not there I'm second choice now. Hopefully I've done all right and shown the Gaffer I can do a job.”
All he has to do now is prise Gordon out of the way – something he is not likely to do by playing at Yeovil away.
He said: “I wanted to leave Celtic to get regular football at Norwich and I've played every game for the past two years. The Gaffer will judge me on that and whether I'm playing well or not.
“It has been tough being on the sidelines for Scotland, but it would be tougher if I deserved to play. Craig hasn't done a thing wrong for four years so it's not as if I can complain.”
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