Portsmouth boss responds to conspiracy theories over ex-Doncaster Rovers and Millwall striker's injury absence
Danny Cowley has emphatically dismissed the leftfield rumours over John Marquis’ Pompey absence.
The Blues boss has laughed off the notion the striker’s injury issue is a cover story after his recent spell out of contention.
Marquis has missed the past two games, although Cowley has declined to go into detail on the reasons for that.
The 43-year-old has gone as far to say the injury is tendon related and ‘short term’, although a scan has proved inconclusive.
Some supporters have searched for alternative explanations, however, suggesting everything from a fallout between player and manager, to Marquis being taken out of the firing line after struggling for form in front of goal.
Cowley highlighted he’s not in a position to ignore fit senior players for selection at present, after naming academy players as subs at Wycombe last weekend.
He said: ‘If John was fit, bearing in mind we had three academy boys on the bench on Saturday, I think he would’ve been in the 18, for sure!
‘John has been our go-to forward for the first part of the season anyway.
‘I don’t know where that one has come from (the rumour of Marquis being left out to protect him after a drop in form), but there’s definitely no truth in it.
‘We’re not in a position where we can be that protective over our players.
‘I promise you now if John was fit he’d be playing - he’d certainly be in the squad.’
George Hirst has added another dimension to Pompey’s attacking play in Marquis’ recent absence, bagging a goal, offering a physical presence and showing some decent hold-up and link play.
Marquis has been the preferred option for much of the season, however, and, despite struggling for a regular supply of goals, Cowley thinks his input shouldn’t be underestimated.
He added: ‘I think John has worked really hard for the team.
‘He’s been selfless in his efforts.
‘His pressing against the ball is an outstanding quality.
‘It allows us to play with a real high energy at the top end of the pitch, get many turnovers and defend early - which is what we like to do.
‘We’re always working with John with his hold-up and link play.
‘But we also know John carries goal threat - he has done his whole career.’
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