Kenny Jackett: Marcus Harness can serve in Portsmouth's number 10 - but not yet

Marcus Harness has been earmarked for a Pompey number 10 role – but not yet.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 10:00 am
Marcus Harness was switched to the left against AFC Wimbledon, but a different future role could beckon. Picture: Joe Pepler

The winger was switched to the left flank against AFC Wimbledon, for the first time in his fledgling Blues career.

Customarily employed on the opposite flank, that tactical change allowed Ryan Williams to come in on the right of the attacking three.

Upon Ronan Curtis’ entrance for Williams on 57 minutes in the 1-0 defeat, Harness returned to the right wing, before himself later replaced.

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Jackett is convinced the former Burton man’s versatility ensures he can perform on either flank.

Although, in the future, he foresees a number 10 role for the talented 23-year-old.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘Marcus is probably the cleverest out of our wingers.

‘He is able to get balls in the pocket, twist and turn, receive it on the half turn and maybe, as he did with John Marquis in the first half, just slide that ball through.

‘I do feel he can player either side, maybe sometimes on the left, if he can just tuck in slightly, while mainly I have used him down the right. He is capable of playing either side.

‘It will be interesting to see, as he develops, whether he can come into the number 10 position, because he has the ability to turn both ways and receive it in tight areas.

‘We would try him there at the right time.

‘Marcus is quite naturally a wide man, but I do think that, as he develops in his Pompey career, he can become a 10.

‘Presently it is right or left, he is okay for either side, and certainly has the vision to be able to take the ball, turn and go.’

A thigh injury at the end of August had halted an impressive beginning to Harness’ Pompey career.

He has now started the last three league matches as he seeks to recapture that form.

Jackett added: ‘He has shown good early promise in his Pompey career. After his injury, we are looking for him to get back to top form.

‘Marcus puts a lot of effort in and is a very committed player, there is a lot of promise there.’