PAUL Lambert still sees Ben Marshall’s long-term future at Blackburn Rovers being further up the field.

But the Rovers boss admits Marshall’s fine form means he has no immediate plans to move him from the deeper position he is revelling in.


One of Lambert’s first acts after taking over the Ewood Park hotseat in November was to restore the versatile star back to his natural position on the wing.

But since the turn of the year Marshall has been playing and starring from right-back.

The set-piece specialist is Rovers’ four-goal top-scorer after the departure of Jordan Rhodes to Middlesbrough.

Marshall bagged a brace in the 3-0 FA Cup win at Oxford United and followed that up with another strong showing in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at table-topping Boro.

And Lambert said: “He’s been excellent playing right-back.

“Funnily enough I still see his talent being further forward up the pitch because he can beat people and he’s got a terrific knack of picking a pass or a shot.

“But he likes playing right-back and, to be fair to him, he’s doing ever so well in that role, and to get goals from that position, well there’s not too many you can say that about.

“Ben has been very good.”

Marshall has been preferred to Wales international right-back Adam Henley since the 1-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers on December 28.

Asked why he made a U-turn over Marshall’s position, Lambert said: “After the Bolton game I thought Adam needed to come out and have a little bit of a break.

“He’s only a young lad, and he had played a right few games there, so we just thought we’d change it a bit.”

While Lambert is happy with his options down the right he is aiming to strengthen the left-hand side of his team now the emergency loan window is open.

He needs cover and competition for left-back Tommy Spurr after Markus Olsson joined Derby County.

And, while Lambert has no interest in re-signing Jermaine Jones, he is also looking to bolster his midfield options.

But he has been impressed by youngster Darragh Lenihan whose contract Rovers are aiming to extend beyond the summer.

Lambert was particularly pleased with the way the 21-year-old performed after picking up an early booking against Middlesbrough last Saturday.

“I thought he was excellent,” said Lambert, whose side entertain second-placed Hull City this Saturday.

“I’ve liked Darragh since I come through the door. He’s got a great attitude toward the game.

“He’ll make mistakes, he’ll be rash, like any young player, but regarding enthusiasm, and a willing to work, he’s different class.”

The clash with Hull kick-starts a run of 11 matches in 36 days for Rovers which continues on Tuesday when they host Fulham.

And Lambert said: “We’re going to have to use everybody and it’s going to be a big ask of the squad.

“But I’d rather play than train to be honest. Let’s see what happens in this tough period.”