The new-look Portsmouth attacking link-up backed to deliver success against likes of Sunderland, Lincoln City and Blackpool in play-offs

John Marquis believes Pompey have hit upon a strike partnership which can fire them to play-off delight.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 6:30 am

And the Blues’ top scorer has tipped Ronan Curtis for an exciting future as a front man, after forming a promising link-up with the Republic of Ireland man as Danny Cowley’s men rediscovered their cutting edge at Accrington.

The Pompey boss opted to put Curtis up front alongside Marquis in a 3-4-1-2 formation, after going with a 3-4-3 against Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

The outcome was Marquis ending his four-game run without a goal and the Blues scoring three goals in a game for the first time in 21 attempts.

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Marquis was left excited at the potential of the pairing and the impact he believes they can have together, as the League One play-off battle reaches fever pitch.

He said: ‘I think me and Ronan caused them a lot of problems.

‘I think we worked the back three tremendously hard and it helped us to get some really good opportunities.

John Marquis and Ronan Curtis

‘I got maybe more than Ronan, but we created chances and our intent and the way we set the tempo from the front helped drive us on.

‘It was me and Ronan with George (Byers) in behind, whereas it was Ronan and George either side of me on Saturday.

‘We can move in between formations. At Accrington we felt there would be a bit more ball in the air and we needed to stop their sitting midfielder getting too much time on the ball.

‘So that meant George went a bit deeper, and when we got to grips with it in the second half it worked well.

‘I’ve enjoyed playing with Ronan in that role recently and we could definitely have hit upon something.’

Curtis has spoken of how he now sees his future as a forward, despite spending the vast majority of his time at Pompey operating as a winger since joining from Derry City in 2018.

And Marquis has absolutely no doubt that’s where the 25-year-old can now be most effective moving forward.

He added: ‘People say he’s naturally a wide left player, but I’d say he’s naturally a striker.

‘He’s got all the attributes you need. He’s good in the air, he’s got good movement, he’s quick and dribble, too.

‘He’s not going to be a target man with his back to the goal, but he can still get hold of the ball and use his body really well.

‘I do really think there could be something there.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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