IN-FORM winger Ben Marshall says Blackburn Rovers can have ‘no excuses’ for failing to perform in today’s crunch Championship clash with high-flying Derby County at Ewood Park.
Rovers go into the game four points behind the final play-off spot and 10 points behind Derby in fourth after they went down 4-1 at Nottingham Forest last weekend.
Marshall admits that tiredness may have played a part in Gary Bowyer’s side’s first league loss of 2014 as it came less than 72 hours after their FA Cup replay at Manchester City.
But after a week to prepare for the visit of the Rams Marshall, who scored Rovers’ consolation against Forest, insists that will not be the case this afternoon.
Marshall said: “We’re at home and we’ve got a good record at home so we’ll be confident.
“We’ve had a good week’s rest in the lead up so there can be no excuses.
“We’ll hopefully come out of the blocks fast like Forest did to us and take the game to Derby.”
Rovers found themselves two down inside 34 minutes at the City Ground before Marshall curled in a 20-yard shot to halve the deficit.
It was the £1m signing’s second goal for Rovers since his move from Leicester City.
Marshall fell out of favour at the Foxes in the second half of last season and he admits he had to work hard on his fitness to get fully up to speed.
He said: “I feel match fit now, I’m playing and my confidence is up.
“This is where I wanted to be when I first came to the club and I feel like I’m producing for the team.
“I’ve just got to stay fit, keep getting goals and assists and try and help us get up the league.”
Rovers assistant manager Terry McPhillips knows all about Marshall’s talents having originally worked with him when he was a youngster at Crewe Alexandra.
McPhillips is delighted that the 22-year-old has found his feet after a stop-start beginning to his Rovers career but he has thrown down the gauntlet to Marshall to score more goals.
“Ben’s form has been excellent,” said McPhillips. “He had to be patient to get his chance but when he got into the team he’s stayed in the team.
“He’s got two goals now and I think it’s going to be important that he scores goals as well as makes them.”