David Marshall is hoping he can continue to keep Scottish football’s player of the year out of the national team.
While Craig Gordon collected the football writers’ blue riband award at a gala dinner in Glasgow last month to go with his Scottish Premiership winner’s medal won with Celtic, Marshall was reflecting upon a disappointing 11th place finish in the English Championship with Cardiff City.
The former Hearts and Sunderland man was also the last player to wear the gloves for the Scots, coming on a second-half sub to replace Marshall in the 1-0 friendly win over Qatar at Easter Road on Friday night.
It is a fairy tale story for Gordon considering he spent two years on the sidelines suffering from a serious knee injury and was more often seen in the TV studio than the football pitch.
Indeed, this time last year he was still without a club before hooking up with the Hoops during their pre-season tour to Austria. The rest, as they say, is history.
So this tale of two goalkeepers may look like Gordon has the edge over his Scoland roommate, given the way their respective seasons finished.
However, Marshall has one significant factor in his favour going into Saturday’s massive Euro 2016 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
It is that national coach Gordon Strachan has picked him for all the games of the qualifying campaign and shows no sign of changing that selection policy ahead of a fixture that, were they to win, would push them towards the finals in France next summer.
“Every time we meet up there is a question over who will star but I hope it’s me,” said Marshall.
“We usually find out the team the day before the game so let’s see if we continue what we have been doing (going with him for competitive matches).
“Craig loves playing for Scotland – he always has done – and without having asked him I think his main objective is to play in this one.
“He is desperate to play and I understand that.
“Craig has a lot of caps and he would have had a lot more were it not for his injury.
“What he’s done is unbelievable.
“To be out of the game for two years is a long time.
“You would have thought it might have taken him a bit of time to get to a certain level but Craig has fitted in perfectly at Celtic.
“He has also picked up awards this season so it’s been really great for him.
“Before the injury, everyone knew how good he was.
“I shared a room with Craig for five years before he picked up his injury and I watched him with Scotland, He never really made any mistakes.
“Now he has come back at Celtic and this is the major thing to perform at that level in Europe and win the league.
“From speaking to him, even he was surprised he got back so quickly.
“So while it’s competitive it has never been awkward for us.
“Maybe other goalies would say differently but the three who have always been with Scotland (including the injured Allan McGregor) have never made it awkward.
“Craig and I came in at the same time, along with Rab Douglas, so we have know each other a long time.”
Marshall admitted that the excitement is starting to build ahead of the Irish test.
He said: “They are all big games now.
“There are only 10 matches in the campaign and we are halfway through, so it’s like a run-in now.
“It’s a big game for both countries and a win would put us in a great position.
“We will have to keen an eye on Robbie Keane and I have played against Shane Long, Jon Walters, Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick.
“I do analysis on them and we shall work on all that stuff this week.”