‘I hated pre-season, absolutely hated it’ - says ex-Ipswich Town striker Ian Marshall
Ian Marshall admitted he used to ‘hate’ pre-season as a player, ahead of his former side Ipswich Town kicking-off their pre-season friendly schedule at Drogheda United this afternoon.
Marshall spent 18 years as a professional, including three with Ipswich, and played at the very top level for a number of years.
Despite that, Marshall, who scored 113 goals in 494 games, was never a fan of his summer schedule, even though it ultimately worked in his favour.
“I hated it, absolutely hated it,” revealed Marshall, who started his career at Everton and also represented Oldham, Leicester, Bolton and Blackpool.
“I don’t think they mind doing it now as things have changed, whereas back then, if you were 35, you were treated the same as an 18-year-old kid and if they were going on a 10-mile run, then so was every single one of you.
“I don’t think you see players on their hands and knees now throwing up, but it’s still tough and it’s got to be done.”
He added: “Players are not as unfit probably as they used to be, thanks to the advances in sports science and technology, they keep themselves ticking over during the summer – some keep on playing – whereas when I played, the day you finished the season heralded the start of a six-week holiday!
“Players tend to look after themselves more now and go into pre-season flying.”
Meanwhile, Marshall believes making the play-offs would represent a good season for the Blues, who finished in their lowest league position for 58 years, last season – 16th in the Championship.
“The last thing the fans want is another season like the last one where the focus seemed to be on trying not to lose rather than trying to win,” Marshall added.
“They want to see entertaining football and I am sure they wouldn’t mind seeing the Blues lose 3-2 at times, playing entertaining football, rather than scraping a 1-0 win.
“I think a good season for Ipswich would be making the play-offs, a bad season would be the same as last year.
“I’m not saying they want to see a relegation battle but being in mid-table, knowing you’re not going down or up is frustrating, even more so when you are not playing attractive football.”