'Really? I thought it was more than 11,000. I thought Fratton Park was full!' - Marcus Harness on the inspirational return of the Portsmouth faithful

A moment to savour for Marcus Harness.

Monday, 16th August 2021, 4:55 am

A first goal of the campaign – and in front of a packed Fratton Park after 18 months away.

The Blues winger admitted he found it difficult at times to play with the same intensity during restrictions on supporter attendance across football.

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The opener arrived from Marquis - with Harness putting the result beyond all doubt on 64 minutes to cap a thoroughly professional display from the hosts.

The 25-year-old told The News: ‘You can’t put a price on that feeling, it was amazing, and also with it being the second goal to put us clear in the game.

‘It was pretty difficult after a while to play with the same intensity when the fans weren’t in.

‘I think all of football felt it, games were just very different. But having fans back in gives you that extra boost, especially with a full Fratton end screaming and cheering you on.

Marcus Harness is congratulated by John Marquis after scoring the second goal of Saturday's win over Crewe. Picture: Jason Brown

‘It’s good to score down the other end (Milton end), but it is extra special down the Fratton end.

‘The fans keep you accountable to an extent and sometimes it’s just hard to get yourself up the same way as when you’ve got 16-18,000 pushing you and cheering you on.

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‘It gives you an extra boost, which is hard to find without that.

‘Our fans are a big asset to us as a team and we are going to need them throughout the season because it’s not always going to be a great performance like Saturday.

‘So when we’re struggling we’ll need them as well. Hopefully we can keep them inside and give them a lot to cheer.’

There were 11,470 supporters at Fratton Park on Saturday after restrictions were lifted after 18 months in place.

It was Pompey’s smallest league attendance since hosting MK Dons in February 2013, when 9,815 were present.

Although Harness was surprised to learn of the total against Crewe – having believed it was a sell-out.

He added: ‘Really? I thought it was more than 11,000. I thought it was full! Whatever it was, they gave us great support.

‘We’ve all missed it. They’ve missed it, we’ve missed it, so I think it’s good for everyone that fans are back.

‘The next game is under lights on Tuesday against Shrewsbury and I'm looking forward to that.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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