Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett sees great potential in this duo's attacking connection

Kenny Jackett is looking forward to reviving John Marquis’ partnership with Marcus Harness.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th September 2019, 12:42 pm
John Marquis of Portsmouth FC scores a goal to make it 2-1 and is congratulated by team-mate Marcuss Harness during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Portsmouth and Coventry City at Fratton Park, Portsmouth, England on 20 August 2019. Photo by Robin Jones.

The attacking duo have not played together since former Burton winger Harness picked up a thigh injury in the 1-1 draw at Blackpool on August 31.

Prior to that, both summer arrivals featured in six Blues games together, impressing Jackett as they struck up a good rapport on the pitch.

Four of those early-season outings saw the pair combine to score five goals and record two assists.

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At Blackpool, Marquis set up his team-mate, who proceeded to curl the ball past Tangerines keeper Jak Alnwick from just inside the box.

Both found themselves on the score sheet when Pompey recorded a 2-0 win at QPR in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

Marquis netted in the 3-3 draw against Coventry, while the striker was on hand to set up Harness for his goal in the 2-1 defeat at Sunderland.

Former Doncaster Rovers front man Marquis has failed to register for Pompey since Harness hobbled off on 40 minutes at Bloomfield Road – a run of five games.

John Marquis of Portsmouth FC scores a goal to make it 2-1 and is congratulated by team-mate Marcuss Harness during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Portsmouth and Coventry City at Fratton Park, Portsmouth, England on 20 August 2019. Photo by Robin Jones.

Jackett has tried several attacking line ups since then, as he’s attempted to find the correct forward formula to kick-start a Pompey season that has seen just one win in seven League One outings to date.

Yet none have propelled the Blues to greater heights up the league table, with the Blues currently sitting 20th – two points above the relegation zone.

But Jackett hopes that will change, with Harness expected to return to the starting line-up on the right wing against Bolton on Saturday.

And he believes Marquis will reap the benefits.

The manager said: ‘John did seem to, quite early on, link well with Harness - but that relationship obviously hasn't been there with his particular injury.

'Sometimes you can link with a midfield player or a 10 or a winger as a centre-forward and that can be a big source of your through balls, or your chances.

'But that will come back.

‘They'll develop good links and good relationships.’

Pompey will also welcome back Ellis Harrison for the visit of Bolton.

The forward missed the midweek defeat to Southampton in the Carabao Cup because of a one-match suspension following his sending off at Wycombe.

Oli Hawkins (foot), however, is out for up to six weeks after limping off against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.