Danny Cowley's verdict on John Marquis amid talk of Portsmouth hunt for attacking reinforcements

Danny Cowley reaffirmed his belief John Marquis has the goals in him to get Pompey promoted.

Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 5:00 pm

The Blues striker drew a blank along with his side, as Danny Cowley’s men saw their 100 per cent league start come to an end in the 0-0 draw at Doncaster.

Shaun Williams’ second-half penalty miss proved the key moment after Gassan Ahadme was brought down in the box.

Marquis failed to take a golden second-half chance to collect the three points, as a close-range header was superbly stopped by keeper Pontus Dahlberg.

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It was a fine save but the marksman will be frustrated he didn’t find the back of the net, after opening his account for the season against Crewe last weekend.

Cowley is understood to be weighing up a move for an additional striker before the close of the transfer window, with speculation continuing over Ellis Harrison’s future.

But the Pompey head coach vowed he’s still got belief in Marquis to do the job required up front.

He said: ‘We always believe John can score, he’s a goalscorer he knows the rules you have to miss them to score them.

John Marquis shakes hands Danny Cowley (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com)

‘He scored many goals at this ground, I don’t think he could just get that purchase on the header that he would’ve liked and sometimes you have to credit the goalkeeper because I thought it was a brilliant save.

‘We created two really good opportunities with John Marquis header and a penalty.

‘Credit to goalkeeper, because you include the save from Michael Jacobs, which is the best of them all it’s two world class saves.

Pontus Dahlberg of Doncaster Rovers saves from John Marquis (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com)

‘I need to watch back but the penalty looks a good save as well.’

For the second game in succession Pompey withstood heavy pressure for spells, but showed real defensive resolve to pick up a fourth league clean sheet on the bounce.

That means they and Sheffield Wednesday are the only teams in the EFL still to be breached this season.

Pompey may not have hit the high-pressing, free-flowing best Cowley is expecting to see as his side progress this term, but is taking solace from the strength shown at the back.

He added: ‘We are pleased with the defensive aspects of the game.

‘We’re disappointed with the middle part of the first half, but the rest of it I thought we were pretty solid in that area.

‘Gavin was excellent again and it’s always good to keep clean sheets. You know if you keep clean sheets you're not going to be far away from winning.’

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