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Maidstone United's ex-Ipswich Town man Ross Marshall thriving in new role at centre-half

Ross Marshall's move into the back four has coincided with back-to-back clean sheets for Maidstone.

Marshall has welcomed the chance to team up with captain George Elokobi in central defence, having played almost exclusively in midfield since making his debut at Bath last October.

Maidstone United defender Ross Marshall Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone United defender Ross Marshall Picture: Andy Jones

It's a partnership that's yielded clean sheets in wins over Oxford City and Braintree and the former Ipswich youngster couldn't be happier.

He said: "I can play that holding role but if I'm going to progress and do well, centre-half is the position for me.

"I'm learning from George all the time in training and in games.

"He's guiding me through and telling me what I can improve on and things like that.

"I've still got a hell of a lot to learn but if I keep listening to the likes of George and the gaffer, I think I can progress.

"It's a massive confidence boost getting the clean sheets.

"We've had a habit of being on the back foot in the second half of games but we're getting our rhythm now."

Andre Boucaud's arrival in midfield freed up Marshall to switch to his natural position and he's determined to keep his place and help Maidstone push for the play-offs.

"Obvious Boucs has played under the gaffer before," said the 20-year-old.

"He's a seasoned pro who's been there and done it.

"It's a case of dropping back into defence, which is perfect for me.

"I've just got to keep pushing, stay in the team and keep doing well because, like the gaffer said, we can't afford to carry anyone.

Ross Marshall has Football League ambitions Picture: Matthew Walker
Ross Marshall has Football League ambitions Picture: Matthew Walker

"We've got to make sure we keep picking up three points and keep pushing on.

"Ten teams are pushing for the play-offs, anyone can beat anyone, but we've got the players and the fans and everyone to get in there.

"But it's one game at a time and now we move to Chippenham which is a long journey and we know they'll be tough because they were when they came here (0-0 draw in December).

"I'm sure the teams above us will be looking over their shoulderknowing we've got games in hand.

"We just have to make sure we're at it 100% week in, week out."

Marshall has made no secret of his ambitions to return to the Football League after coming through the youth ranks at Ipswich.

He knows Maidstone are a club who can help make that happen.

"My aim is to get back in the Football League as soon as possible," said Marshall.

"This is a great club, a massive club, and if I do well here, then hopefully I can push on.

"It's a lot different from 23s football which is more about development.

"Here, we get 2,000 people each week and we're trying to push for the play-offs so the three points mean something.

"I've still got a lot to learn and I'm just focused on going out there and playing one game at a time."

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