'We live in a world of negativity and criticism': Portsmouth boss on how critics are firing up John Marquis to ram words down their throats

John Marquis has a point to prove to his critics – and his game is flourishing as a consequence.

Sunday, 31st October 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Sunday, 31st October 2021, 7:28 am

That’s the verdict of Danny Cowley after witnessing the striker earn Pompey a 1-0 triumph over Bolton on Saturday

Marquis’ instinctive flick to Ronan Curtis’ left-wing cross on 51 minutes proved to be the game’s decisive moment.

It represented his fourth goal in 16 appearances during a campaign in which he has frustratingly often struggled for form, reflecting the Blues’ own troubles.

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Certainly the 29-year-old appeared to make a point to critics during the goal celebration, by putting his hands over his ears to suggest he cannot hear.

It’s not the first time he has made the gesture this season after scoring in front of the Fratton end.

Cowley admits Marquis is driven to prove a point, – and he’s convinced it brings out the striker’s best form.

He told The News: ‘Do you know what, John’s mentality was really good on Saturday – and I like him when he has a point to prove.

John Marquis puts his hands over his ears while celebrating his Pompey matchwinner against Bolton on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘That’s when he plays at his best.

‘You’ll have to ask John what he meant (by the gesture), but we are professional sports people, we’ve always got a point to prove. They’ll always be someone doubting us, they’ll always be someone.

‘We live in a world of negativity and criticism, a world where everyone sees the worst in people, so you have to be careful to take the right approach.

‘Sometimes criticism is right and is fair. When somebody has been targeted, some of it is fair, no doubt, and you just have to try to work out what is and what’s not.

‘This is our job, isn’t it. To try to make the right decisions as to what advice helps us and improves us – and what advice we can leave behind.’

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Marquis received a terrific reception from supporters in recognition of his goal-scoring display when substituted in stoppage time against Bolton.

He was replaced by George Hirst, who continues to lag well behind the former Doncaster man in terms of starting XI selection.

Cowley is desperately short of striking options at present, with Ellis Harrison injured and Gassan Ahadme struggling to adapt to League One.

In addition, Leicester loanee Hirst is without a goal in 12 appearances for Pompey.

Such options ensure that Marquis remains Cowley’s undisputed first-choice – and he now has three goals in his last five outings.

Cowley added: ‘John’s goal happened really quickly.

‘I was looking at the linesman, I could see it was in, but you know what it’s like, on a difficult run things are not going for you.

‘But that certainly went for us and sometimes you need that, don’t you.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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