Doncaster Rovers: Darren Ferguson gives verdict on John Marquis and how his teammates can help him
Darren Ferguson insists it is the duty of all at Doncaster Rovers to help John Marquis through his tough time in front of goal.
A poor and costly miss for the striker in the defeat at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night typified the difficulties Marquis is facing at the moment.
The 25-year-old has not scored in his last seven league matches and is struggling to recapture his blistering form from last season.
Ferguson says this is not just Marquis’ problem and his team mates must play a role in getting him back firing.
“No one will be more disappointed than John,” Ferguson told The Star.
“He will feel he should have scored more goals.
“But there is an argument that we need to get him better service and players in behind him.
“It’s not just John.
“We’ll keep working on it, working hard and as long as the players keep doing what they’re doing on the training ground, we have to hope that it is enough on the pitch.
“We have to help John get through it.
“It’s his first tricky period. He has a marvellous season for himself last season, an incredible goalscoring one and was a big reason why we got promoted.
“It’s not a case of it just being him going through a bad time.
“I need to help him out in a different way.
“As long as he keeps working hard, he’ll be fine with me.”
At times, particularly since the largely successful switch to a 3-4-3 system, Marquis has drifted away from goal in search of the ball.
And Ferguson says the striker must be disciplined if he is to be truly effective for the side.
“John can get a wee bit frustrated at times,” he said.
“He comes too deep at times and that is frustration.
“We need to take that out of his game and I’ve spoken to him about it.
“They need to make the correct decisions when they cross that white line, don’t they.”
Similarly, Ferguson says the onus on the rest of the team to prevent Marquis being isolated as a lone forward in the system when he does stick high up the pitch.
In recent games there have been times when Coppinger and Rowe have both dropped deep when Rovers were out of possession, leaving Marquis up against the opposition defence on his own.
Ferguson said: “It can be the danger in that formation that it ends up with John looking quite isolated.
“What we work on and the players know that the distances between the team on and off the ball doesn’t change.
“At Wigan. the distances were too big and that was the big problem because we couldn’t get control of the ball.
“When the distances become too big the gaps in the team appear and that’s when the opposition can exploit it, especially those like Wigan.
“As long as John is in contact with the rest of the team, you just become a counterattacking team.
“You offer the possession to the opposition but you’re thinking counterattack.”