John Marquis' message to Portsmouth's strained attacking resources at critical moment in play-off race with Charlton Athletic, Oxford United and Blackpool
John Marquis told Pompey’s attacking quartet to forget about the physical strain being placed upon them.
And the Blues’ leading scorer is adamant he and his forward-thinking team-mates have got the summer to think about fatigue, as he demanded they ‘empty the tank’ over the season’s finale.
Pompey will likely finish the campaign with the attacking foursome of Marquis, Ryan Williams, Marcus Harness and Ronan Curtis in the starting line-up, with Danny Cowley shorn of options in that area.
Ellis Harrison, Jordy Hiwula and Michael Jacobs are all sidelined at a critical point in the campaign, with talk of fatigue a central them of the Cowley brothers’ stewardship so far.
Marquis acknowledged it’s been a challenging period, but the 28-year-old underlined he’s more than happy to take on the workload he’s presented with.
He said: ‘It’s been a long two years.
‘When you look at last season, we kept fit the whole time through lockdown, came back for the play-offs, had a three-week break and then straight into another 46-game season.
‘We’ve churned out a whole season and now we’re at the back end of it we’ve lost Ellis Harrison, Jordy Hiwula, Michael Jacobs - three massive players all missing.
‘It puts a little bit of extra physical strain on the likes of me, Ronan (Curtis), Willo (Ryan Williams) and Marcus (Harness).
‘But this is what we get paid to do - this is what we live for.
‘If the gaffer told me I wasn’t playing I’d be annoyed.
‘So if I’m playing every game I’m happy.’
Marquis believes the answer to dealing with the impact of a long season on the Pompey squad lies in their mental strength, with the campaign reaching a crescendo.
And he feels the players have the management team to ensure it’s mind over matter at a critical moment.
Marquis added: ‘The gaffer and Nicky are really big on mentality. I think you can see that in the past few games.
‘We’ve got nothing to save ourselves for.
‘We’ve got two games and hopefully another two and a final.
‘So just empty the tank, leave it all out there and see what happens.
‘We’ll get the summer to reflect, hopefully on some positives. We can recharge then.
‘We’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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