'Attributes to play in Championship' - Danny Cowley reveals plans to get John Marquis firing at Portsmouth

Danny Cowley has explained how he plans to get John Marquis firing on all cylinders for Pompey.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 5:15 pm

The striker moved to Fratton Park from Doncaster for a fee approaching £1m in July 2019.

Having arrived with a reputation as one of the deadliest goalscorers in the lower divisions, it's widely regarded among fans that Kenny Jackett did not get the best out of him.

Scoring 29 goals in 89 appearances under the former Blues boss, many supporters felt Jackett failed to play to the ex-Millwall man's strengths.

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Cowley's a big admirer of Marquis, though, and the pair have already held discussions about how they can get the forward to consistently hit the goal trail.

And Pompey’s head coach is confident Marquis has the qualities to do that – and be a hit in the Championship.

Cowley told The News: ‘John is a top player and a top number nine. He is a number nine that has the capabilities and attributes to play in the Championship.

‘He has really good movement, intelligent and definitive movement, can score different types of goals and it's up to us to find those ways of finding those goalscoring opportunities.

John Marquis celebrates scoring for Pompey earlier this season against Crewe. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘It's up to him to really commit to the idea. We've had a really good, positive conversation with him and we've got to understand him.

‘He is an intelligent boy with a good understanding of his performance and what he needs to play at his best.

‘It's up to all of us to work towards a consistency and level of performance John Marquis is capable of.

‘If we can collectively find that then he will regularly score for us.

‘John is our type of forward. He's a number nine who brings mobility, link-up play and really intelligent movement.

‘He runs off the ball and we look forward to collectively finding opportunities for him.’

Marquis has missed the past two games with an ankle injury but could be back for Saturday’s League One trip to Shrewsbury.

Assistant head coach Nicky Cowley reckons Pompey must provide Marquis with regular goalscoring chances when he’s back to full fitness.

He said: ‘We know John is a lethal striker and we are really motivated to find ways to create chances for him.

‘He's very dangerous on the transition and when we turn the ball over, we like to look for the forward pass to go straight into our number nine or number 10 to attack with real verticality.

‘On our positional attack, we like to have them disciplined so we feel there are clear patterns and connections between players to get into the assist zones to create chances for him in the box.

‘Around 84 per cent of goals are one or two touch finishes around that 12-yard zone so we know we have to be good enough to finish the attacks.

‘That's a challenge for us, something we have spoken about and are very excited about.’

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