Mark Marshall may be 31 years of age but reckons he is still learning how to improve thanks to Charlton boss Lee Bowyer.
The winger bagged his first league goal of the season as he arrowed home in the closing stages of Saturday’s 2-0 win over AFC Wimbledon. Bowyer said afterwards that the former Bradford City man is “finally taking on board we’ve been trying to tell him for months.”
Marshall has started to come back into the fold over the last month or so, and says that despite his experience he can still take plenty on board from Addicks boss Bowyer.
“You’re never too old to learn,” explained Marshall.
“[Bowyer] played at the top for 16/17 years, he’s a good person to take information from. It’s just about making a positive impact when you go on. He has been telling me to run in behind more and you’ll get more chances like that. It stretches teams so the players can play. If you’ve got no one running in behind they can just sit in their shape. If you’ve got someone disrupting their shape then people can get into little pockets. He’s definitely trying to help me and all the players alike. I’ve just got to take the information on board and today I was rewarded with a goal.
“I’ve got to be honest with you, when the ball was coming to me I was thinking to check back onto my left foot. In training, he’s been saying sometimes just let it run across you and hit it across the goal.”
The win, Charlton’s sixth in seven league games, cemented the South London outfit’s place in League One’s top six and leaves them just four points shy of Luton Town in second place.
“I’ve got to give you humbling words because there’s a lot of games left,” answered Marshall, when asked what he thinks Charlton can achieve this year.
“I think we’ve got a chance to be in the mix. There’s a lot of football to be played and I wouldn’t say [top two] is out of reach. Top two, play-offs, as long as you’re in there at the end of the season you’ve got a chance. It’s just about staying focused. You can’t think too far ahead. These are massive games in and around the Christmas period. You always get a slight breakaway. If form dips, you might be in fourth but you’ll find yourself in tenth. It’s about trying to pick up points game by game. The next game is just as important.
“Charlton is a massive club. We’ve got some big clubs in the division. You can see at the top of the table it’s not going to be easy. You’ve got to keep your foot on the gas because you have four teams that are constantly winning game every week. You don’t want to fall too far behind them. As long as we’re in the mix come March-April, then you know that anything is possible.”
Marshall was amongst a number of walking wounded after the impressive midweek victory at league-leaders Portsmouth, and was pleased that he was rewarded for breaking through the pain barrier to play his part against the Wombles.
“It was my hip, rib, groin,” he said.
“When he hit me, I thought I’d been hit by a bus. When he hit me, I was winded, my hip wasn’t working properly. Because my hip couldn’t move, my groin was hurting. I came in and did some mobility work, got painkillers and ice. It’s still hurting now to be honest. I could have easily sat out today but I said to myself I want to be out there because every opportunity is an opportunity. I could have sat out and I wouldn’t have scored a goal today. I’m happy with my decision to go through the pain.”