David Marshall speaks on Scotland retirement, Hibs move, Craig Gordon and Allan McGregor, and that save in Serbia\

David Marshall has spent 20 years at the top and, having signed for Hibs this summer, has at least two more to go, if not more.

David Marshall believes Hibs have to be targeting third place. Picture: Alan Rennie / Hibernian FC
David Marshall believes Hibs have to be targeting third place. Picture: Alan Rennie / Hibernian FC

He has high hopes for his time at Hibs and, having fully recovered from the hamstring strain that ended his 2021/22 campaign prematurely, has felt good in the pre-season friendlies the Easter Road side has played so far.

It remains to be seen what he can achieve on his return to the Scottish Premiership but it will have to go some to top that night in Belgrade last year.

“Football is about memories and moments and how important that save was… how long it had been since Scotland had qualified for a major tournament and doing it by winning a penalty shoot-out with the last penalty,” he says, speaking at Hibs’ summer training camp in the Algarve.

David Marshall has retired from Scotland duty.

It’s clear how much the historic, iconic, moment means to the goalkeeper.

“It was an amazing moment and I’d do well to beat that in my career. Because it was for the country and meant so much to the fans,” he continues.

"It’s definitely a personal highlight. It was during Covid and you see the emotion of the fans in the social media clips, TVs bouncing off the walls and all that.

"It was crap that the fans weren’t there – how good would it have been if the Tartan Army were in Serbia that night? It’ll be tough to beat that.”

David Marshall believes Hibs have to be targeting third place. Picture: Alan Rennie / Hibernian FC

Then there was Derby, and the injury, but he is raring to go with Hibs.

"I’ve played against the manager’s teams a lot, I know Jamie McAllister slightly and Adam Owen from my time at Celtic and at Cardiff we shared a training ground with Wales,” he explains.

"The gaffer is trying to implement his ideas. It’s a talented and young squad and in the two games everyone has done well.

"I feel fine. I had the hammy in March but I recovered and managed to get into the Scotland squad which was a bonus because I didn’t think I’d make it.

“Touch wood I’ll keep going.”

Marshall returns to a Scottish top flight that will have changed since he last played in it, but also bear some similarities.

"Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen should always try to be the third-best team in the country,” he states.

"I think that’s realistic. It’s a big ask to make up that gap but it was a strange end to the Premiership. A lot of teams didn’t have a great second half of the season.

"There’s a lot of work and points to make up but if we don’t aim to be the third-best team there’s something wrong.”

It was Lee Johnson’s predecessor Shaun Maloney who got the ball rolling on Marshall’s move to Easter Road.

"I spoke to Shaun in January or February,” Marshall says.

"I had an agreement with both clubs and I felt it was the right move to come back. It wasn’t guaranteed but more or less it was.

“I’m not looking too far past the two-year deal. At this age you are lucky to stay fit. The hamstring injury is the only thing I’ve had worth talking about in my career so I’m lucky."

More significantly, it is less than a month since Marshall hung up his international gloves after deciding to call it a day and give Zander Clark and Liam Kelly more of a look-in.

It wasn’t an easy decision but Marshall insists it was the right time.

"It was the hardest thing I’d done, to speak to the manager at the time. I didn’t think I’d be involved in the summer but I managed to get fit and worked to aim for it.

"When the manager phoned me a few weeks before I was delighted to come in, but after the Ukraine game I had a 24-hour period when it just felt right.

"With my wife and kids being in Scotland the last three years I’ve missed a hell of a lot. I felt I owed a bit back to them. You need a balance of life.

"I’ve not really regretted it yet. It’s tough watching because it’s all you’ve known, but a lot of people say you know when you need to make a big decision.

"The manager spoke after the Ukraine game about being all in for the next two and four years. I just felt it was the right time.”

Marshall’s departure follows Allan McGregor’s retirement in 2019, leaving Craig Gordon as the veteran gloveman with the international squad.

"I spoke to Zander and Liam and they’re not daft,” Marshall reveals.

"Greegsy and me have retired, Craig is at an age where there are probably four or five ‘keepers thinking it’s them next so they’ll be pushing.

“It’s a great chance for Liam and Zander. They are completely different and Craig is coming off the back of a good season so if he can continue that, it’s his jersey.

“Ultimately, though, it won’t be too long until someone has to take over.”

Unsurprisingly, goalkeepers’ union rules dictate that Marshall remains in touch with his former international colleagues.

“It must have been hard for Allan when everyone was saying he’s probably going to retire after the Europa League final. They probably wouldn’t have got there without him. It’s good to see he’s signed another year.

“I’m looking forward to coming up against Craig when we play Hearts.

"Greegsy's a man of few words – apart from on the pitch when he's shouting at referees – and doesn’t give you much but he actually text me when i retired from Scotland."I keep in touch with both of them – obviously I saw Craig a lot with Scotland – but it was nice to get a lovely text from Greegsy, I'm looking forward to seeing him."

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