Ex-Burton ace Marcus Harness striving to recapture dazzling early-season form - and Portsmouth starting spot

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The dazzling early-season form has noticeably dulled a little, the shining light has dipped.

Summer signing Marcus Harness began the campaign in irresistible fashion, yet Saturday marked a maiden start in the Blues’ past seven fixtures.

The cruel blow of a thigh injury during the midst of a potential man-of-the-match display at Blackpool halted his eye-catching impact.

Since a lay-off approaching a month, Ryan Williams has largely occupied the former Burton man’s favoured right-wing spot.

There was an opportunity against Altrincham, however, back in Kenny Jackett’s starting XI after five weeks of occupying the bench.

And Harness responded by being involved in both of Pompey’s goals in the 2-1 FA Cup victory over the non-leaguers.

Marcus Harness returned to Kenny Jackett's starting XI to influence Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup win over Altrincham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Marcus Harness returned to Kenny Jackett's starting XI to influence Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup win over Altrincham. Picture: Joe Pepler

The 23-year-old said: ‘It feels like a long, long time but I’m delighted to be back in there and hopefully can play a bit more and make the position my own for a little while.

‘There are good players in this team so it’s never going to be a given to play, you need to earn the position and keep it.

‘Ronan (Curtis) and Ryan have been doing really well in recent weeks, so it has been tough for me to get back in there.

‘I was doing well before the injury and afterwards maybe had a few games where I wasn’t as effective, but I am confident that when I play I can bring something to the team.

‘Injuries happen in football, that was a long time ago now, maybe I can use this time to get back to my best.

‘I have been training well every day and providing competition for the other two lads. I will control what I can control and hopefully play a lot more.’

With Jackett looking to rotate his squad, Harness could retain his spot in Tuesday night’s visit of Northampton in the Leasing.com trophy (7.45pm).

Although Harness admits Saturday’s team display was not good enough.

He added: ‘I don't think anyone was great against Altrincham, including myself.

‘I don’t think I was anywhere near my best, but had a small influence in both goals and was involved in a few other chances.

‘Hopefully I have shown enough, we will see.’