Pressure's no problem with eyes on Portsmouth's new arrival from Burton Albion

Marcus Harness is adamant he can take on the weight of expectation at Pompey.

Sunday, 21st July 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 22nd July 2019, 9:15 am
Pompey new boy Marcus Harness. Picture: Portsmouth FC

The Blues’ new winger is ready to accept the challenge of being one of his side’s chief creative influences next term.

With Jamal Lowe’s future very much in the balance still, there is every chance the 23-year-old will be a successor to the club's prized asset if a move is completed to Wigan.

Pompey are relaxed about how that scenario will play out, but Harness is more than willing to take on the strain of filling the goal and assist void created by Lowe's potential exit.

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The arrival from Burton Albion came with his new club paying a substantial transfer fee, to land the pacy talent on a three-year deal with a club option for another 12 months.

Harness knows eyes will be on him next term, but he’s also perfectly aware he’s at a club where the minimum demand is to be in the Championship - and with that comes pressure.

He said: ‘I’d like to think I could (handle the pressure of being Lowe’s successor, if required).

‘Even with just coming to a club like this there’s pressure.

‘Coming into it I’m ready to take that on my shoulders and hopefully show everyone what I can do.

‘It’s exciting and I can’t wait to get started.

‘The top two divisions is where the club want to go and that’s where the club should be.

‘I’m so grateful to be here and hopefully I can get the club back up there to where it should be.

‘Promotion has to be the ambition. That’s what everyone is working towards from what I gathered.

‘I’ve only just arrived here but a club the size of Portsmouth going up has to be the goal.’

Even though people will naturally look to Harness operating on the right side of Jackett’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, where Lowe was used last season, the Coventry-born man explained there is a versatility he brings to the table.

With an ability to use either foot, Harness can keep defenders guessing about where his jinking runs will take him.

And the new boy, along with Jackett, feels that means he can operate in a number of roles at Pompey.

Harness added: ‘I had a casual conversation (with Jackett) about where I’ll fit in and where he thinks I’ll fit in.

‘He told me what we’re about and I can’t wait to get started.

‘In the system we play here the gaffer thinks I can play any of the three positions behind the front man.

‘They’re the positions I’ve played in and I feel I can be effective there. Hopefully I can help the team.

‘I haven’t got a preference - I just want to be playing. I just want to do everything in my power to get into the team and help the team score goals and win games.

‘I can play on the left or the right. I don’t know what I’d say I preferred, but I’m comfortable anywhere behind the striker.’