Why Portsmouth centurion Marcus Harness is revelling in Danny Cowley's new-look system

Marcus Harness insists he is revelling in Pompey’s new-look system which has reignited his form.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 5:30 pm

Fittingly, the winger opened the floodgates against Sunderland as Danny Cowley’s men trounced the league leaders.

The occasion marked Harness’ 100th Blues appearance since his July 2019 arrival from Burton in the region of £800,000.

Netting the first goal against the Black Cats – his 22nd for the club – it maintains an encouraging return to his scintillating best.

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That upturn has coincided with the introduction of the three centre-half system – and improved displays from Harness is surely no coincidence.

He told The News: ‘I like coming inside and going outside, this system gives you the freedom to do both.

‘I am enjoying it at the minute, definitely. It’s the football you want to be playing.

‘Even with the other systems we play, the 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, they are all very similar and involve playing with the same kind of principles, yet give the opposition a different problem.

Marcus Harness challenges Bailey Wright in Pompey's 4-0 success. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘We are a good team, we know we are a good team, it’s just about showing that consistently.

‘We’ve had some really good performances over the last few weeks, even when we haven't won we’ve played well.

‘It’s just sticking with the process, trying to do the right things and the results will come, it’s only a matter of time.

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‘I wasn’t aware that Saturday was my 100th game, but it’s obviously a huge honour. The fans make this club the way it is and they were amazing against Sunderland.

‘It’s always a pleasure playing in front of them, if you can’t get up for that then you shouldn’t be playing football. It’s an amazing atmosphere.’

Harness is now joint-top scorer with Lee Brown and John Marquis, who both also netted in the 4-0 success over Sunderland.

The trio each have three goals to their name so far this term, with Harness having now registered twice in his last three appearances.

And he was delighted to see Marquis return to scoring ways after registering once in his previous 13 appearances, stretching back to last season.

The 25-year-old added: ‘I’m happy for John to get two goals because he works so hard for us. Scoring is what he wants to be doing.

‘I feel bad for him sometimes because he hasn’t always had the service he’d want, so it was great to see him on the scoresheet on Saturday.

‘There are going to be bad days, but, on the whole, we’ve got a really good team with good characters – and are moving in the right direction.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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