Ellis Harrison speaks on his newly-formed Portsmouth strike partnership with John Marquis

Ellis Harrison believes his strike partnership with John Marquis can continue to flourish.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 6:00 am
Ellis Harrison, left, and John Marquis. Picture: Robin Jones

And the affable Welshman is targeting a sustained run in Pompey’s starting line-up with his fellow summer arrival.

Harrison and Marquis moved to Fratton Park for substantial fees from Ipswich and Doncaster respectively.

But during the opening three months of the season, the pair rarely featured alongside each other.

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That changed during the Blues’ clash against Southend on Tuesday night, however, when Kenny Jackett’s decision to play both forwards from the outset reaped the rewards. 

Pompey delivered a 4-1 victory, with Harrison firing a double and Marquis breaking the deadlock. 

Now the former Bristol Rovers man is hoping he again operates alongside the marksman in tonight's FA Cup first-round trip to Harrogate.

Harrison said: ‘Of course, I’ve been hoping to play in that partnership but I’ve just wanted to get into the team, score goals and win.

‘If I can’t get into the team and we win then I can’t say a lot.

But now we’ve won with that on Tuesday, it’ll be hard for the manager to change it, but who knows because it’s football and might be different.

‘It’s good playing with John and I really enjoy it. We’ve played one-and-a-half games now together and can hopefully play the next 30-odd games together.

‘We played together against Crawley (in the EFL Trophy) and I thought it worked well but the manager didn’t seem too keen and then we went on a little run, so we couldn’t moan.

‘But now it’s worked – because it worked with John and Pits (Brett Pitman) as well – and hopefully we get a little run.’

With Marquis featuring as a conventional striker for the majority of his career, it means he's wary of the runs Harrison makes when playing in the number-10 position. 

And their encouraging rapport means there’s fluidity when leading the line together.

Harrison added: ‘John is more of a striker so he’ll understand the runs I make and will pass the balls that he’d want to receive. 

‘He’s very comfortable on the ball, knows where the back of the net is and if you have a number 10 who can 26 goals then it’s going to help.

‘At Bristol Rovers, I played as a lone striker, in a two and a three so I don’t mind.

‘When John would press, I’d fill and vice versa so we'd cover for each other anyway.

‘It wasn’t alien to us. We’ve both played as a number nine and number 10 at other clubs so it wasn’t a massive surprise.’