‘I know people criticise him, but he was born to score goals' - Danny Cowley's on Portsmouth's under-fire top scorer
Danny Cowley is bracing himself for a John Marquis goal rush following his Accrington double.
And the Blues boss has urged the Fratton faithful not to ‘underestimate’ the striker’s talents.
Marquis’ performances have faltered since the turn of the year, with the goals drying up and form slumping.
It’s a timely return among the goals for Marquis, who previously had registered five times in his last 28 outings.
The sixth-placed Blues now have two matches to secure a play-off place for a third successive season.
And Cowley is looking for his leading scorer to drive the team there.
He said: ‘Listen, Johnny’s a top player.
‘I know that sometimes people criticise him, he’s a number 9, but he was born to score goals.
‘He’s got really good movement, unbelievable instinct, such a clean finisher – we just have to create the right chances for him.
‘Johnny will benefit from Tuesday night because he wants to do well. He’s a great kid, he loves this club and so desperately wants to do well.
‘Please, anyone that speaks about him, don’t underestimate how much he wants to do well. Don’t underestimate his character because he’s a boy of real substance.
‘I like him, I’m really pleased for him tonight.
‘It should have been the winner, if you are a good team you see the game out. But we didn’t.
‘We have to do much better defensively. Much better.’
Marquis, of course, also scored at the wrong end of the pitch to present Accrington with a leveller five minutes into time added on.
When Craig MacGillivray pushed the ball out, it ricocheted off his team-mate’s shins and into Pompey’s net.
It was a gut-wrenching finale for Cowley’s men, who had been set to claim a crucial victory in their play-off push.
But the Blues’ head coach absolved Marquis of any blame over that decisive moment.
He added: ‘No blame for John, none at all.
‘We should never have given the foul away (in the build-up) – and you have to win the first contact.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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