'Born to score': Danny Cowley delivers strong backing to goal-shy Portsmouth striker after latest blank in Charlton clash
Danny Cowley has backed the Pompey striker he believes was ‘born to score’ to rediscover his goal touch.
John Marquis’ clever flick laid the ball off for Marcus Harness to net in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Charlton.
However, it was his profligacy in front of goal which afterwards formed the chief talking point.
The most notable missed opportunity was during the first half, when he miscontrolled Harness’ pass from six yards out, then dragged a left-foot shot wide.
Marquis, who also had several other prized chances, has registered just once in 10 appearances this season.
Yet despite the latest blank, Cowley is convinced the goals will soon flow.
He told The News: ‘My heart is with John, he came in and said sorry to the boys, but he doesn't need to.
‘He tried so hard for the team, defended from the front brilliantly and did great for Marcus’ goal, but he missed some chances – that’s the life of a number nine, I guess.
‘John Marquis was born to score goals, John Marquis always scores goals and John Marquis will score goals. We believe that.
‘It was a really nice flick for our second goal actually, he knocked it to the right and a good finish from Marcus Harness
‘You miss them and score them, that’s the life of a number nine. I don’t mind them missing them, I only mind if they are not getting them.
‘He’s got broad shoulders, he’ll keep getting in there and he will score goals. He’s John Marquis, he will score goals.
‘There is a lot of his performance that was really good, but he’s just not finding that final moment and sometimes number nines goes through those spells, through those periods.’
Marquis also wasted a glorious opportunity against Plymouth in midweek.
After Ronan Curtis had diverted the ball across goal to him at the far post, the 29-year-old slid a shot wide of the target from six-yards out.
Pompey subsequently drew 2-2 with the Pilgrims, thanks to Sean Raggett’s stoppage-time leveller.
The £1m signing from Doncaster has scored eight goals in his last 41 outings, a period in which he has been a regular starter.
Yet Cowley continues to stand by Marquis, whose work-rate and pressing game suits the head coach’s Pompey style.
He added: ‘Strikers have to fight their way through it – and John will.
‘That’s because he’s got substance and minerals. You don’t go as far as he has in his career without having those qualities.
‘He will find a way, I have no doubt about that.’
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