John Marquis delivers his Portsmouth promotion message after AFC Wimbledon boost

Pompey goal hero John Marquis is convinced a place in the Championship is there for the taking.

Sunday, 12th January 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th January 2020, 6:04 pm

Saturday’s 2-1 triumph over AFC Wimbledon lifted the Blues into seventh place in League One, their highest position this season.

Kenny Jackett’s side are outside the play-offs courtesy of goal difference – and six points adrift of leaders Rotherham with a game in hand.

Meanwhile, just six points separate fifth place from 15th, such is the tightness of the division.

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John Marquis earned Pompey victory over AFC Wimbledon after scoring for a third-successive match. Picture: PinPep Media/Joe Pepler

And Marquis believes the two automatic positions are well up for grabs.

He said: ‘This season’s League One is very tight and I would say not the strongest.

‘Last year there were five teams at the top who pretty much ran away with it, whereas this season there are probably teams down to 15th or 16th thinking that if they can stick a run together they can get into the play-offs.

‘It is wide open and whoever is the most consistent team both home and away between now and the end of the season will probably find themselves in the top-two places.

‘We are bubbling away nicely, we are not going to look too far ahead, we’re not going to start making ridiculous claims that we are going to run away with it or do anything like that.

‘It is so open, there are so many teams vying for those positions, it’s just about consistency and who has a strong January in terms of signing players and improving squads, which we have done.

‘It’s just getting the right players and the right bodies in, plus maintaining good standards between now and the end of the season.’

Substitute Marquis’ headed winner on 79 minutes was his eighth goal of the campaign.

And with two defeats in their last 18 matches in all competitions, momentum continues to be with them.

The striker added: ‘We just want to make sure that, come the end of the season, we are in a position where we can strike.

‘Unlike last year, where Pompey started so well and tailed off, maybe we come the other way and be a slow burner and then come strong at the end.’