Marcus Harness: Give me a chance to be Portsmouth's number 10

Marcus Harness wants the chance to shine in Pompey’s problematic number 10 role.

Saturday, 22nd August 2020, 7:30 am
Marcus Harness believes he can thrive if given the opportunity to serve in the number 10 role for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Marcus Harness believes he can thrive if given the opportunity to serve in the number 10 role for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

The forward has his eyes on claiming the position following his goal-scoring trial at the end of last season.

Harness was blooded in the number 10 role for the play-off semi-final second leg at Oxford United – and responded by netting.

Ultimately, the Blues were eliminated on penalties at the end of that 2-2 aggregate result.

And the former Burton man is convinced he can flourish if selected to operate behind the striker rather than on either flank.

He told The News: ‘It’s something that me, the manager and Joe have spoken about – and it’s something I think I could do well at being the type of player I am.

‘I will play anywhere, I’m not too fussed, but I believe I can do well there and so do the staff. It’s something we might try out at some point.

‘With how I play, even when I’m wide I come inside quite a bit, find holes, slip passes through and create attacks.

‘So being central with a bit of freedom and some of the defensive work taken off me really appeals. I can be ready whenever we win the ball to spring us into attack - it would suit me well.

‘We will see how it goes and, from what I know, the staff think that role would suit me as well.

‘When I was at Burton, it was a bit of a different formation, but I have played in the hole behind the striker before. I haven’t been their loads, but it’s something I am familiar with.

‘We will see how it fits in the system we play here and whether I can make that position my own.

‘Andy (Cannon) has played there and did well last season, while Ryan played in the hole against Norwich under-23s last weekend and I was wide.

‘If I get chosen to play there then I’ll do my best – and hopefully I can do well.’

Last term saw Gareth Evans, John Marquis, Andy Cannon, Brett Pitman and Cameron McGeehan all feature as a number 10 on occasions.

In addition to his Oxford outing, Harness was also employed there for December’s 3-1 defeat at MK Dons.

With nine goals from 37 appearances during his maiden campaign, he also believes he possesses the scoring ability to contribute in the role.

Harness added: ‘Whenever Ellis (Harrison) is playing up top, he is always going to win stuff in the air, which is something which thankfully worked against Oxford, even though it wasn’t enough.

‘My goal was decent, I was happy with it. It was on the run and I put it through the defender’s legs, which obviously makes it difficult for a goalkeeper.

‘I’m sure I could do it regularly if I get to play in that position again.’

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