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Harris: “We’re really pleased to be working with Ben again”

Manager talks after completing loan return for Ben Marshall

16 January 2019

Neil Harris has expressed his delight at securing the services of Ben Marshall until the end of the season.

The winger today completed his move from Norwich City on loan for the remainder of the campaign, in his second spell at The Den in 12 months.

“We’re delighted,” the manager says.

“We were obviously interested in Ben in the summer following his successful period with us last season, and we couldn’t compete in the market at the time.

“He went to Norwich, wanted to make a home for himself and do well – obviously it hasn’t turned out quite as well as he has hoped so far – but Norwich have been great in letting him come back on loan to play some football.”

Harris is confident that Marshall can cope with any added pressure following last season’s successful loan period, in which he scored three goals and claimed five assists in 16 games.

“Ben made it very clear that once he was told he could get out and play that he wanted to come here, and we’re obviously very pleased to have him back.

“I said to Ben that there will be some expectation on his shoulders because of how well he performed for us last year, but just to come and enjoy himself and play. If he can try and replicate the form he showed, and we can win games, then we’re certainly in a good place.

“He is a player who has enough experience to welcome in a bit of pressure on his shoulders. He’s got a great understanding with the group on and off the pitch, and had been a huge part of the dressing room dynamic, a good leader. He was certainly a character I enjoyed working with before.”

The boss says Marshall will be involved on Saturday as The Lions travel to Middlesbrough, and will look at how best to ease the winger into the team.

“He’ll certainly go straight into the squad – a player of Ben’s quality needs to go straight into the group. He played 75 minutes at the beginning of the month for Norwich in the FA Cup, but hadn’t played a great deal before that – while he had been in plenty of matchday squads, he’d not had a lot of time on the pitch.

“We’ll evaluate it over the next few days and the coming weeks. He’s cup-tied and so cannot play against Everton next week, so we’ve got a period now to bed him back in.”

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