Kenny Jackett gives verdict on ex-Burton winger Marcus Harness' maiden Portsmouth season - and his next challenge

Marcus Harness has been backed to build on an encouraging maiden season at Pompey.

Saturday, 6th June 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Monday, 8th June 2020, 4:03 pm

Kenny Jackett is confident the winger has a ‘very good future’ ahead as his next challenge is to become a regular starter.

Harness moved to Fratton Park from Burton for a substantial fee last summer.

The Coventry-born ace has registered eight goals and seven assists in all competitions.

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After starting the campaign in blistering form, a thigh injury sustained at Blackpool at the end of August hampered his momentum.

Following his return to full fitness, Harness battled Ryan Williams for a place on the right flank of Jackett's starting line-up.

It was the Australian international who’s had the slight edge, while Ronan Curtis has been undisputed first choice on the left-hand side of attack.

Nevertheless, Jackett has been impressed with Harness’ impact – especially when introduced off the bench.

Marcus Harness celebrates scoring against MK Dons with Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

And the Blues manager is adamant the former Port Vale loanee will continue to blossom.

Jackett said: ‘There is more to come from Marcus. He’s a goalscorer and has got eight goals this season.

‘Quite a few times, he’s come on and changed the game for us at a time when maybe we were ahead but we’ve been labouring.

‘Marcus has been very effective in that role. Sometimes when you look at someone’s number of starts, it doesn’t paint the whole picture.

‘He is a really good player, Marcus Harness. I think he has got a very, very good future ahead of him and his best years to come now.

‘I’m pleased he is a Pompey player. In terms of his delivery, crossing and shooting, it’s excellent.

‘He has eight goals and want to be a regular starter all of the time, but off the bench he has won us points.’

Jackett explained Williams’ added experience has given him a slight edge ahead of Harness.

But with both contracted at Fratton Park until the summer of 2022, the right wing is a position the boss is pleased with going forward.

‘They are different players,’ added Jackett.

‘Maybe Ryan has got a little bit more experience but I do think it is a strong position for us with those two.

‘Again, whenever we are looking forward then right-wing is a very strong position for us.’