Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley on why Championship clubs should be looking to sign ex-Blackburn target Marcus Harness

Danny Cowley believes Championship clubs should be eyeing the Pompey progress of Marcus Harness.

Thursday, 17th March 2022, 5:30 pm
Danny Cowley believes Championship clubs should be looking at Pompey top scorer Marcus Harness. Picture: Stephen Flynn/ProSportsImages
Danny Cowley believes Championship clubs should be looking at Pompey top scorer Marcus Harness. Picture: Stephen Flynn/ProSportsImages

And the Blues boss is relishing unleashing the attacker on Wycombe upon Saturday’s return from suspension.

Harness was Pompey’s match winner when the clubs met at Adams Park in November, capping a fine team display from the visitors in a 1-0 triumph.

Certainly his return from a three-match ban is timely as Cowley’s men strive to record the double over the promotion-chasing Chairboys.

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Harness attracted Championship interest in January, albeit with Pompey’s head coach insisting nothing was ‘formal’.

The Blues intend to protect their prized asset by taking up their option on the 26-year-old’s contract which expires in the summer.

Yet, once secured for an additional 12 months, that won’t prevent Championship clubs circling for a player Cowley is convinced can thrive at that level.

The Blues’ head coach told The News: ‘Marcus works hard in trying to improve and develop his game. He can be whatever he wants to be, he has the ability and the potential.

‘I have worked in the Championship, I know what Championship players look like, he has Championship quality, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind.

‘There was nothing formal for him in January, which surprises me.

‘If I was a Championship club I would be doing everything I could to secure Marcus’ services.

‘He has scored 11 goals this season and when you add to the assists he’s made, that represents an excellent return.

‘I know that he was disappointed to get sent off and miss the last three games, he is very focused on finishing the season strongly. If he does it will represent a very, very good season for him.

‘When Marcus plays well, we play well. He brings that je ne sais quoi, that bit of different creativity and guile.

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‘He has that ability to turn a game in a moment.’

Harness netted 10 goals in his opening 23 matches, during a blistering start to the campaign.

However, since the turn of the year, the former Burton man has netted once in 12 outings during a noticeable dip in form.

In February, he was dropped to the bench for two matches, despite being leading scorer, while lined-up as a right wing-back against Doncaster.

But Cowley accepts that inconsistency can often be a factor with any attacking talent.

He added: ‘Marcus is trying to do the hardest things in the game – creating goals and scoring goals.

‘As a consequence, the consistency is maybe not always the same as the player who passes from A to B.

‘He had an incredible run of goals before Christmas, Marcus is a top player and we’ve really missed him.

‘We’ve missed his pace on the transition, particularly away from home, we’ve missed that one-v-one domination that he brings, while his dribble penetration is so good.’

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