John Marquis: I'm a team player - and guarantee hard work for the Portsmouth cause

John Marquis has pledged he will never tire of running himself into the ground for the Pompey cause.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 6:00 am
John Marquis' outstanding work-ethic has been a strong characteristic of his early-season performances. Picture: Graham Hunt

The industrious striker has impressed the Fratton faithful with his selfless hard-work and endeavour for the team.

Marquis was involved in both of Pompey’s goals in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Bristol Rovers, winning Gareth Evans’ penalty and crossing for Ronan Curtis to head home.

The 27-year-old was recruited to Fratton Park in the summer to introduce his prolific scoring touch, subsequently netting three times.

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There remains much more to Marquis’ game, however, epitomised by unflagging commitment up front.

He said: ‘For me, working hard is the bare minimum, I have to do a job for the team.

‘I’m picked to play in a position where you are mainly judged on your goals, but there is so much more to being a centre-forward than goals.

‘There’s your work-rate, your ability to hold the ball up to link the play, to bring others into the game, to be the one that triggers the pressing. There's a lot you need to do, on top of your goals.

‘Some people are athletic and more able to get around the pitch than others and I think it's a big part of my game, the fact I can hassle and harry defenders, make body contact, make it uncomfortable for them for as long as I can.

‘It might take me 89 minutes to grind them down, I’ll keep making runs for one lapse of concentration from them which may happen in the last minute to get the goal.

‘That's what I need to do, I enjoy that side of it, I enjoy the working hard part, it’s good when you press and look over your shoulder and see the team coming with you.

‘You have to make things happen, be active, and, while sometimes I get a bit too overenthusiastic and go after balls I shouldn’t, it’s only because I want to get the ball back, to win, to do well.’

Marquis scored twice in six appearances in a Fratton Park loan spell during the first half of the 2013-14 campaign.

He subsequently netted 67 times in 153 appearances, persuading Kenny Jackett to bring him back permanently.

He added: ‘Goals are what you get judged on mainly. At the end of the season, nobody is going to say “He’s the best presser in the league”, they are going to say “He’s the one who has scored the most”.

‘You just need to get the balance. If the goals aren’t going in, you must bring something else to the team to keep yourself in there.’