Portsmouth's big attacking 'miss' in League One draw on the road at Doncaster

Marcus Harness proved a big 'miss' in Pompey's League One stalemate at Doncaster.

Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 12:00 pm

That's the view of Blues head coach Danny Cowley, who was without a 'key player' because of a quad injury.

Harness had made an impressive start to the season for Pompey, starting the opening three games of the campaign and netting in the 2-0 victory over Crewe.

But the former Burton man, forced off at half time in last Tuesday's home win against Shrewsbury, was unable to shake-off an issue with his quad in time to be available in the Blues 0-0 draw at Donny.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Cowley stressed a player of the 25-year-old's calibre will always prove a big miss to his team.

The Pompey boss says the attacker’s 'dynamism', 'athleticism', 'ball-carrying qualities' and 'end product' are vital for the Blues.

But Cowley is confident he'll have influential Harness back in time for the trip to face former Pompey assistant manager Leam Richardson's Wigan next weekend.

The Blues boss said: ‘It was a real blow because he’s a key player for us. He’s got a vatus lateralis (injury) which is the outside quadricep, so it’s very unusual. It’s usually the rectus femoris, which is the kicking muscle.

Marcus Harness missed the draw at Doncaster with a quad injury

‘I always miss Marcus, yeah. We miss his dynamism, his athleticism, his ball carrying qualities and his end product - we always miss Marcus.

‘No, no (not a long absence), he’ll be back for the weekend.’

In the absence of Harness, Gassan Ahadme came in for his third start in five matches.

The Moroccan, on a season-long loan from Premier League Norwich, is still to net in a competitive game for Pompey having struck eight times in pre-season.

Ahadme, 20, won the Blues' second half penalty at Donny, which was missed by substitute Shaun Williams.

And Cowley was pleased with his loan attacker's performance against Doncaster.

Cowley said: ‘I thought he got stronger and stronger (against Doncaster), showed his physicality and his fitness did well for the penalty – I think it was a penalty.

‘Power, energy - I thought he got up to the ball - I thought he gave us good quality in possession, which I thought he did well. Given that he looked a little bit lost at times, but I thought he did well today.’