Kenny Jackett: John Marquis can adapt to Portsmouth system - and rediscover his goal touch

Kenny Jackett is convinced John Marquis can solve Pompey’s goal crisis.

Monday, 19th October 2020, 5:30 pm
John Marquis finds himself back in Pompey's starting line-up at Gillingham following injury to striking rival Ellis Harrison. Picture: Joe Pepler

The former Doncaster man will tomorrow night be handed a return to the Blues’ starting XI for their trip to Gillingham (6.30pm).

His re-emergence comes with Pompey desperately struggling for goals, with just seven netted in six League One fixtures – and four of those against Burton.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Marquis himself has struggled for form, failing to find the net in his last 11 league outings.

Now he is challenged to inspire a Blues side struggling to shine.

Jackett told The News: ‘We obviously have John Marquis, he is a very good player and I’m looking forward to him getting a run. I do think for us will fit in very well.

‘We are not asking him to do something which isn’t necessarily foreign to him or he hasn’t played before. I definitely think he can adapt.

‘There are times when he maybe needs more support, but I think he has played pretty well.

‘As ever, he would want to score more goals, but he can’t score if he’s not on the pitch.

‘It’s early season and I have every confidence that he is going to play well for the team and score goals.

‘We must be patient and persevere with him. Goalscorers go on runs of goals and I do feel that, once he gets into that rhythm, they will come.

‘That does happen with natural goalscorers. It’s early in the season and I have every confidence John has a run of goals coming.’

Although a highly prolific scorer at Doncaster, Marquis has failed to recapture that form in Jackett’s system.

He has scored eight goals in 39 League One appearances so far, totalling 18 in 64 outings in all competitions.

Having started the season as first choice, Marquis lost his place to Harrison, who now finds himself sidelined.

It represents another opportunity for the 28-year-old, whose hard work and application can never be questioned.

Although confidence will have been impacted by his own lack of goals this term.

Jackett added: ‘It’s early in the season, but John has worked very, very hard, both in the games and in training.

‘As with every player, when you’re starting the season you want to start confident and start well, but confidence is earned as well. John works hard enough to earn his confidence.

‘The majority of the season is still ahead of us and he needs to keep working hard and to build that confidence.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story. The News has launched a new subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage.

You can subscribe here to get the latest news and transfer updates from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism on your behalf for our city.