Kenny Jackett backs former Doncaster striker John Marquis to kick-start Portsmouth's season
Kenny Jackett has backed John Marquis to find the goals to kick-start Pompey’s League One season.
The summer arrival from Doncaster has been a near ever-present for the Blues this term, starting seven of the nine games played in all competitions to date and scoring twice.
He’s also been named in the starting line-up for five of Pompey’s six league games going into today’s trip to Wycombe - yet has netted only one goal during the Fratton Park side’s stuttering start to their third-tier campaign.
With the Blues currently 18th in the table, Jackett knows he needs more from his side if they are to make up ground on their promotion rivals.
That will also mean additional goals from a player who scored 67 times in three seasons at the Keepmoat.
But the manger is in doubt Marquis has the quality to do just that and relieve Pompey of their early-season frustrations.
Jackett said: ‘John’s got two goals and worked very, very hard.
‘He shows very good movement and, like the whole team, will be slightly frustrated with the league position.
'We've been pleased with what we've done in the cups, but he'll be like the whole squad - frustrated with where he is.
'He's got off the mark, has got a couple of goals, but really for John now, like all the players, it's about what they do going forwards, starting on Saturday.
'He's shown he has enough quality to play well for Portsmouth and do well.
'And I've no doubt he'll add to his two goals and continue to thrive on being a very good centre forward for us.’
Jackett is under no illusions Marquis’ goals will be key to Pompey this season.
His all-round game will be just as vital, though, with the 27-year-old having a reputation for his work-rate and never-say-die attitude.
Those attributes were on show during Tuesday 2-2 draw with Burton, with Marquis’ threat contributing to John-Joe O’Toole’s sending off for two bookable offences.
It’s an aspect of his game that prompted the Blues to fork out a free approaching £2m for the front man.
And Jackett is keen for him to continuing ruffling feathers.
‘He looks a good player in games, he looks a good player in training - he has a little bit of everything, is obviously strong physically, he's quite quick down the sides and if you can get the ball into him he has good ball-playing ability as well,’ added Jackett.
'(Against Burton) his pressing gave us control of the game.
'Pressing O'Toole twice has put him into a situation where both were questionable red cards.
'It was a big moment and he's very good at catching people.
‘But for the amount of ball we had in the end and the amount of balls into the box, we didn't get enough to him.
'He had one very good chance. Ben Close played him in, he received it well and I think it went inches wide.
'He was really unlucky and when it's going for you they can tuck in the corner.
'But he’s there or thereabouts all the time and he'll do very well for us and score goals.’