Goal-shy John Marquis backed to soon be rewarded for Portsmouth hard work

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John Marquis has been reassured his hard work will soon be rewarded.

That’s the calming message delivered by Kenny Jackett following eight games without a goal for his summer recruit.

Marquis last season netted 26 times for Doncaster in another prolific campaign, persuading Pompey to splash out around £2m for his services.

However, he has not registered since successful with a penalty in August’s 2-0 Carabao Cup victory at QPR.

Ellis Harrison is now threatening the 27-year-old's spot against Gillingham on Saturday, following his last-gasp Keepmoat Stadium winner – after replacing Marquis.

But Jackett has urged the striker that goals will soon match his impressive work-rate.

The hard-working John Marquis has gone eight games without a goal since last hitting the net in August. Picture: PinPep Media / Joe Pepler

The hard-working John Marquis has gone eight games without a goal since last hitting the net in August. Picture: PinPep Media / Joe Pepler

Pompey's boss said: ‘John needs to keep working hard, that’s what I have told him, to keep working hard for the team and to be a good team-mate.

‘I think they are big things and that’s the way you work at it, you commit to the team, you commit to working hard.

‘Nothing beats hard work, particularly if things are not quite going as you want them to. That is always the case.

'As a striker, you want to score, but there is a responsibility among ourselves to create chances, so it’s never straightforward.

‘But, similarly, get your head down, work hard for the team, work hard for your team mates, they are big things.

‘I don’t think we are shy of working hard – and that helps when times get tough or if there is any adversity around.’

The Gills are one place and one point above Pompey, having played two matches more.

And Jackett is seeking a third-straight League One victory to maintain recent winning momentum.

He added: ‘Between now and early-mid December, we want to really get going if we can.

‘That won’t be easy, there’s one thing saying it and another doing it, but we are the ones who must take that chance and opportunity.

'We have to work hard to earn every point we get, no doubt about that, you always do, but we are capable of doing it.’