John Marquis returned to haunt Pompey again last night – then insisted: I hold no grudges.
Man-of-the-match Marquis netted twice as League Two table-toppers Doncaster opened up a 10-point advantage over the fourth-placed Blues with a 3-1 win at Keepmoat Stadium.
The 24-year-old has now scored three times this season against his former employers, with Donny taking maximum points from both league clashes, including a 2-1 Fratton Park success in October.
Marquis, by his own admission, had an unsuccessful two-month loan stay in Pompey’s first season in the fourth tier, scoring twice in a six-game spell that coincided with boss Guy Whittingham’s November 2013 sacking.
But having been on loan to seven different clubs in the past three years, Marquis has now settled at Doncaster and has played an integral role in firing them to the League Two summit.
And the in-form striker, who has 13 goals in 24 league games this term, insisted playing against Pompey held no added motivation.
He said: ‘There’s not really any added motivation playing against former clubs – it’s just another game of football for me.
‘I’ve played for so many clubs I probably forget who I have played for!
‘But in all seriousness, I just want to do well.
‘I have got nothing against Portsmouth.
‘My time there didn’t go as great as maybe it has at other places but that is just part of football.
‘You can’t go and be number one wherever you go.
‘It didn’t really work out for various reasons and I don’t hold any grudges against them or anything like that.’
Marquis, though, did admit surprise his old club are yet to find their way out of English football’s fourth tier – given their pulling power.
‘I’m surprised they (Pompey) are still in League Two,’ he added.
‘It is a massive club. The budget they have and the players they can attract is frightening for the league.
‘But you need more than just the best players to get out of this league.
‘You need hard work, determination, grit and different ways to win.
‘They go from playing in front of 18,000 at Fratton to then going away to play in front of 1,500.
‘It is probably hard for them to gee themselves up for those games but that’s the difference between some teams in this division.’
Marquis netted a header in the first half and a half-volley in the second to put Donny 10 points clear of Pompey.
But the striker insisted Rovers are not about to rest on their laurels.
He said: ‘We try not to look at the table too much but psychologically, anyone who beats Portsmouth twice this season is going to be up there.
‘We have managed to do that and there is a bit of a gap now.
‘But we are not going to rest on it.’