Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley has openly backed striker John Marquis to score goals.
Marquis, who joined the club for a hefty £1.5 million back in the summer of 2019, has shown glimpses of quality whilst at Fratton Park. However, at times has frustrated Pompey fans with his inconsistency.
Marquis especially came in for some criticism after Cowley’s men drew a blank in a goalless draw against his former club, Doncaster Rovers, with the strapping forward missing a golden opportunity in the second half. Donny keeper Pontus Dahlberg was in an inspired mood all game, and made several wonderful saves in order to keep Marquis and co at bay.
Amid links with the club signing another centre forward, some have seen Marquis as a potential makeweight in the deal, with speculation over his ability to fit in Cowley’s system. Despite these rumours, Cowley has come out and openly given Marquis his full backing.
Speaking to the Portsmouth News he said: “We always believe John can score, he’s a goalscorer he knows the rules you have to miss them to score them.
“He scored many goals at this ground, I don’t think he could just get that purchase on the header that he would’ve liked and sometimes you have to credit the goalkeeper because I thought it was a brilliant save.”
Cowley will have plenty to be impressed with nonetheless, with Pompey starting this season in excellent form. They currently sit third in the League One table and are yet to concede a goal.
A record that may shock fans of other EFL clubs due to the loss of Jack Whatmough this summer. That, though, has been more than covered for by the performances of new recruit Clark Robertson and his centre back partner Sean Raggett.
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Cowley will certainly be hoping that Marquis can prove his backing to be correct and catch fire for them this season, with goals being the only slight concern for the club’s promotion hopes this campaign.
With the future of fellow forward Ellis Harrison still unresolved, Cowley may still be searching for another forward in order to add plenty of depth in the attacking area of the pitch, yet Marquis will certainly not be making way for the new signing, as confirmed by the boss.
As for Marquis, he certainly is a striker that can go on very streaky runs of form, and the cold patches can annoy supporters. Despite that, backing him is probably the wisest move from Cowley, with Marquis certainly being a confidence player. The full support of the manager will give him the confidence to find his shooting boots and potentially find similar form to that of 2018-19, where he scored goals a plenty for Doncaster.
Marquis is at a pivotal point in his Portsmouth career, a hot season and a Pompey promotion will mean that his expensive transfer fee is justified to the penny. On the other hand, a poor run of form and all of a sudden he may find himself out of the team and looking for a new club come the January window.