Portsmouth’s John Marquis has said that there is no rivalry between himself and strike partner Ellis Harrison at the club, describing the Welshman as a “good friend”.
The pair were on the pitch together in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Shrewsbury Town, with both on the scoresheet for Pompey as they got back to winning ways in League One.
Kenny Jackett’s 4-2-3-1 formation has meant that throughout the course of the season both players have been in competition for the sole striker position.
The only times when both men have been on the pitch together is when Marquis plays at Number 10, just behind Harrison.
On Saturday, Jackett opted for the Welshman to start the game, but Marquis’ introduction in the second half saw both men play up top together once again.
Speaking to the club website, Marquis stated that there is no rivalry between the pair despite competition for places, and they they both get on really well.
“Ellis is a great lad and a good friend of mine – people tend to think there’s going to be a rivalry because we play in the same position,” the 27-year-old said.
“But it’s not like that with me and him. We get on so well and I’m really happy that he scored because he works his socks off in every game.”
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He also discussed what Harrison brings to the team.
“He’s probably the most selfless guys I’ve ever played with because of the amount of running and physical battles,” Marquis said.
“Shrewsbury were a really big, physical team and they’re the sort of games that really suit Ellis to a tee.”
Portsmouth’s Number 10 also said that he prefers it when both are on the pitch together, as opposed to Pompey opting for a sole striker.
“It does work for me personally when there’s another striker on the pitch and we looked more of a threat in the second half.”
It is good to hear that Marquis and Harrison get on well on and off the pitch. The pair would relish regularly starting games together upfront but it does not suit the way Kenny Jackett wants the team to play.
Nevertheless, both players have quality, and the Pompey boss once again has a decision to make on who to start against Exeter on Tuesday night in the Leasing.com trophy semi-final.
In the future, Jackett could sacrifice a defensive midfielder for a second striker in games where they are expected to win – which could be a good way of finding out if the pair can play upfront together with a attacking midfielder behind them.