'Marcus Harness possesses a dying art - and that excites me' - Portsmouth head coach Danny Cowley

In-form Marcus Harness possesses one of football’s ‘dying arts’.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 5:30 pm
Marcus Harness' talent continues to excite Danny Cowley since his Fratton Park arrival. Picture: Joe Pepler

And the winger’s undoubted talents are exciting new Pompey head coach Danny Cowley.

Having gone 26 league games without a goal, Harness has now registered in each of his last two outings – coinciding with the appointment of the Cowley brothers.

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Now he has a new boss challenged with unlocking his attacking capabilities.

And, similarly, Cowley is revelling in the opportunity.

He said: ‘When we watched the games leading up to taking over, I could see confidence coming back into Marcus. He really excites me, I have to say.

‘He has pace, he has end product, he’s the best crosser of the ball in the league on the run.

‘Crossing on the run is a dying art. A lot of wingers now like to play inverted and come inside and shoot, which I like as long as they can shoot and score consistently. Otherwise it’s really nice to go on the outside and cross.

‘I love the profile, Marcus has pace and end product which sometimes is very hard to find in League One. It’s either one or the other – he has both.

‘And I love his willingness to learn and get better, with there being opportunities to add to that.

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‘I have to say, in this short period of time, I have a massive soft spot for Marcus. He’s one of these that I wake up thinking about in the morning.

‘That’s the exciting thing about Marcus. We can see him on the right, see him on the left and see him in the central space as well.’

Harness now has 10 goals for the season – a career-best haul in a campaign.

It beats last term’s nine-goal tally as his goalscoring continues to flourish since his July 2019 switch to Fratton Park from Burton.

Cowley added: ‘I understand that attacking players are doing the hardest things in the game, so sometimes their consistency isn’t always the same.

‘We try to give them freedom to not worry about making a mistake and not to worry about giving the ball away. If they do, they are going to win it back anyway.

‘For me, they have to keep their position disciplined, they have to press aggressively and use a huge amount of energy on the ball.

‘Our responsibility to them is to get them quick, controlled and regular possession.’

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