Mark Warburton says the arrival of Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall from Derby will be a huge boost to his team on and off the field.
Marshall joined this week to solve QPR’s goalkeeping crisis after Jordan Archer’s season was ended by a dislocated shoulder sustained during the penalty shoot-out win over Rotherham, with Seny Dieng unavailable for at least a month due to Africa Cup of Nations commitments with Senegal.
The 36-year-old Marshall, whose heroics between the sticks helped Scotland qualify for last summer’s European Championships – ending a 23-year exile from major tournaments – will go straight into the side to face West Brom on Saturday.
Warburton admitted he didn’t know the former Celtic, Norwich, Hull and Cardiff stopper but said he arrives at the club on the back of several glowing references from people in the game, including QPR players Lee Wallace and Lyndon Dykes and highly-respected and long-time former Scotland and Glasgow Rangers goalkeeping coach Jim Stewart.
“Jim Stewart was my goalkeeping coach at Rangers; a top, top individual and a Uefa Pro Licence deliverer. He spoke so highly of David Marshall,” Warburton said.
“I spoke to Lyndon and Lee of course, as you have to do your homework.
“But every single reference on David Marshall came back glowingly about what he brings on and off the pitch and we are delighted to have him.”
Warburton said the big-game experience of former Cardiff captain Marshall, who helped the Bluebirds to promotion from the Championship in 2013 before playing in the top flight for Hull, gives him the perfect foundation to make his debut in such a big game for his new club.
“I am sure he will be first to say that the first game at a new club is always a big occasion for any player, especially one of this importance,” Warburton said.
“But he’s got the experience and the CV to deal with these types of games.
“He’s also got the strength of character to enjoy these games and the calm assuredness he can relay to the playing squad as well.
“We are very pleased with that addition. It’s good business and he’ll play a very important role.”
Warburton also believes the signing of Marshall will be also be good competition for Dieng when he returns to London from Cameroon next month.
“David has come here to play games of football,” he said.
“Every player needs pushing and competition and Seny will know David will work hard in every single training session and that is exactly what we need to have.”