Gaffer: I'm not sure if John Marquis is the long-term answer - but he's the best Portsmouth have got

Gaffer for a Day, Liam Sumner, aged 30, from Waterlooville, delivers his opinion on Pompey’s 2-2 draw at Charlton...

Sunday, 26th September 2021, 4:30 pm
Gaffer for a Day Liam Sumner admits he feels sorry for John Marquis as his scoring issues continue. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

So Liam, your thoughts on that?

That first half was probably the best I have seen from us this season and I’m disappointed to come away with just the point.

We gave away two poor goals through individual errors, which was key.

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Sean Raggett made a needless foul in the corner, then we switched off for a free-kick and suddenly it was 1-1.

For their second, we were exposed by a diagonal ball, no real tackle was made on their winger and that set up Josh Davison to equalise.

That’s six goals conceded in three games now, although we do look better overall in the formation and you can see it coming together.

It was a very poor performance against Cambridge United, but I have been encouraged since.

Obviously there was one particular talking point.

I do feel sorry for John Marquis, his work-rate is phenomenal and I thought we missed it a lot when he was substituted.

If we’d have gone 2-0 up after 19 minutes, the crowd would have turned on Charlton, they were going before that. Unfortunately he missed.

It’s common knowledge that Pompey wanted a new striker in the summer, but Marquis does offer a lot to the team and is the best of the available options.

At the same time, you can argue that for a long time he hasn’t scored – and under different managers.

Marquis has proven he is capable in the past and, while I am not sure if he’s the long-term answer, he’s the best there is in the squad.

He is desperately lacking confidence, but the ability is there.

Who stood out for you?

By a country mile that was Marcus Harness’ best display of the season – and he’s my man of the match.

He’s very inconsistent and the frustration for me is you know he has the ability, yet doesn’t show it often enough. You know the talent is there.

I also liked Joe Morrell’s performance, he is going to be a brilliant signing. There’s so much quality on the ball and he drives forward with it.

It has really clicked for him in the last few matches, he starts attacks and breaks things up so well.

How do you see this season panning out?

Most sensible fans know it's a work in progress, I don't think many expect us to be challenging for the top two.

Perhaps we can sneak into the play-offs, but, realistically, I’m looking at the top 10.

The reality is it’s going to be a fairly long process. Danny says 2-3 windows and certainly things won’t be quick.

It’s a transitional period and there are still a lot of that starting XI which were here under Kenny Jackett.

I’m sure Danny wants to keep some, but it’s not 100 per cent his squad yet.

Gavin Bazunu - 7

Kieron Freeman - 6

Sean Raggett - 6

Shaun Williams - 7

Mahlon Romeo - 8

Lee Brown - 7

Ryan Tunnicliffe - 7

Joe Morrell - 8

Marcus Harness - 8

Ronan Curtis - 8

John Marquis - 6

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