Winger lives down final heartache

Fit again: Owls signing Ben Marshall is happy to be back to normal after breaking his leg last season. Picture: Steve Ellis
Fit again: Owls signing Ben Marshall is happy to be back to normal after breaking his leg last season. Picture: Steve Ellis
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SHEFFIELD Wednesday’s entry into the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tonight brings back an unhappy memory for Ben Marshall.

The Owls winger broke his leg in last season’s final when he was playing on loan for Carlisle.

Rival boss: Phil Parkinson is the new Bradford manager

Rival boss: Phil Parkinson is the new Bradford manager

But he is happy to have made a full recovery and to have been given a chance to hone his match fitness at Hillsborough.

“It was a bad tackle,” recalls Wednesday’s loan winger from Stoke.

“It was upsetting but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

“You have your doubts about what lies ahead, but when your physio tells you you’re going to be back to normal, that’s fine.

“I do feel back to normal, and hopefully I can push on.”

He helped Carlisle to Wembley and scored the third goal, with a lob, in their 3-1 win against the Owls in the Northern semi-finals last November.

His debut for Wednesday brought his first 90-minute outing since the final in April when he was carried off during Carlisle’s 1-0 win against Brentford.

Stoke were surprised by the speed of his recovery - and another loan spell was seen as the best way of getting him into the swing of regular games.

After being signed up by the Owls until January, he made a fine debut against Notts County and scored his first goal for the club against Scunthorpe last Saturday.

It cannot be a certainty that he will play at Bradford tonight for Gary Megson has been wary of plunging him into too many games in too short a space of time, but managers are obliged to field strong sides in the Trophy.

They must include either six players who played in the previous game, or six players who have played in most of the games this season.

Wednesday and Bradford each receive a £10,000 fee for live transmission by Sky.

Bradford’s new boss Phil Parkinson will be looking for a career lift from Wednesday for the second time in less than a year.

The 43-year-old, appointed yesterday after Peter Jackson’s resignation last week, was under intense scrutiny when he was manager of Charlton as they prepared to take on the Owls at The Valley last October.

The Adddicks had lost their previous home game 4-0 and prolonged a lean run - which led to some of their fans calling for Parkinson’s head.

But they then won 4-3 at Carlisle and, with all eyes on the big home against Wednesday next, beat the Owls 1-0 to launch a revival and quell talk of the axe for Parkinson.

Another twist in the tale came in January: in the home game that preceded Charlton’s trip to Hillsborough, they slipped 4-2 to Swindon and this time the axe did fall on Parkinson.

Caretaker boss Keith Peacock was in charge for the 2-2 draw with Wednesday as newly-appointed manager Chris Powell stuck to a watching brief.

Yet another twist: Charlton away on Monday is the Owls’ next League game.

Bradford, with caretaker boss Colin Cooper in charge, notched their first win of the season on Saturday, 4-2 at home to Barnet.

Parkinson yesterday made former Sheffield United winger Kyel Reid his first signing and confirmed that the 23-year-old would play some part against the Owls.

Reid, who was released by Charlton, has signed a two-year contract.

He said: “It’s an opportunity to get some games under my belt for a manager who believes in me.

“It means a lot for him to bring me in as soon as he got the job. That shows he’s got a lot of faith in me.”

Parkinson’s appointment has been applauded by Barnsley’s former Charlton striker Andy Gray, who said: “He is very clued up on his football and players, and very thorough. I think it’s a really good appointment for Bradford.

“Phil did a fantastic job with Colchester and then did quite well under the circumstances at Charlton.”