Ben Marshall: Leicester City move led to England chance
Leicester City winger Ben Marshall thanked boss Nigel Pearson for giving him the opportunity that has seen him catch the eye of England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce.
Marshall pinpointed his move to the King Power Stadium as the key in his rise from a string of lower-league loan spells to being selected for his country.
Marshall played the full 90 minutes in England's 1-0 victory against Norway in their final European Under-21 Championship group game at Chesterfield on Monday. It followed on from his international debut on Thursday when he went on as a substitute in the 2-0 win against Azerbaijan.
Marshall believes the move to City has played a massive part in his development.
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"The manager took a chance with me when he took me in, but I managed to get a lot of Championship games under my belt and I did well," he said.
"It's all thanks to Leicester really, as they've given me the chance to play and express myself, so I'm really thankful for that."
Pearson signed the 21-year-old from Stoke in January for a fee of around £1million following a run of loan spells, the last of which was an impressive six-month stint at Sheffield Wednesday, where he scored five goals in 22 appearances.
Since arriving at City, he has quickly established himself as a fans' favourite and has scored two goals in five appearances this term, including the decisive penalty in City's 1-0 victory against Blackpool.
"When I first came to the club, I was finding it a bit difficult getting used to the way they were playing," he said.
"But the manager stuck by me and he's been helping me along the way, so I'd like to say a little thanks to him as well."
Marshall said it was a great feeling being selected for England.
"It's brilliant, and to get a full 90 minutes is a real achievement so I'm really pleased," he added.
"Having the Three Lions on your chest when the national anthem is playing gets the heart pumping a little bit because it's what you dream of when you're growing up, so it's great to be out there.
"I don't think I played my best but I had to do a job tracking their left-back.
"I thought I kept him quiet and managed to get forward a little bit."