'We’re really trying to work with John' - Danny Cowley on trying to boost John Marquis' Portsmouth performances

Danny Cowley sensed a change in John Marquis against Peterborough.

John Marquis impressed Danny Cowley in the 2-0 friendly victory over Peterborough. Picture: Joe Pepler
John Marquis impressed Danny Cowley in the 2-0 friendly victory over Peterborough. Picture: Joe Pepler

And Pompey’s head coach is banking that training ground ‘work’ with the striker can reap rewards this season.

The £1m recruit from Donaster has netted 32 times in two seasons during his second Fratton Park spell, yet has struggled for sustained form.

Since Cowley’s arrival, he has spoken of Marquis in glowing terms, yet is aware he needs to drag out more from the centre-forward.

While the 29-year-old has netted just once in pre-season, he has weighed in with several assists.

And with his strong running often forcing Posh keeper Christy Pym into mistakes during Saturday’s 2-0 victory, Cowley can see encouraging signs of progress.

The Blues boss told The News: ‘We got real control against Peterborough out of possession, which was good to see.

‘I thought we carried a really good goal threat throughout. Certainly, at the top end of the pitch, if we can play with that energy and intensity on a consistent basis then we’ll be just fine.

‘I was really pleased with the front end of the pitch, particularly the energy and intensity we played at.

‘We’re really trying to work with John in terms of his emotional control and trying to channel that.

‘He runs so hard for the team, works so hard for the team, and any disappointment he has in the game we are trying to channel into his performance.

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‘We are making slow progress with that, but some progress, and he certainly set the intensity on Saturday.’

Pompey’s season opens with a trip to Fleetwood on Saturday.

They do so on the back of an encouraging performance and win against Peterborough in the first-team’s final pre-season friendly.

And Cowley believes how his side handled Posh’s wing-back system was also an excellent warm-up for their trip to Lancashire.

He added: ‘We played a Peterborough team that came pretty much flat out, with just Jonson Clarke-Harris missing. It was a really good test for us.

‘We thought they might play a back three, which they did, and we are pleased about that because Fleetwood play a 3-4-3 themselves, so we kind of planned for that in pre-season.

‘Peterborough started in a 4-3-3, but went to 3-4-3 after 15-20 minutes.

‘I think that was because of the way we were playing and the pressure we were putting on the ball.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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