John Marquis: I'd hate to play against myself!
Fans' favourite John Marquis has quipped: '˜I'd hate to play against myself!'
The 24-year-old striker won Rovers supporters over almost immediately following his summer arrival.
And the south Londoner - and self-confessed wind-up merchant - is clear on the reasons why.
“I think it’s just the way that I am and the way that I play,” said Marquis.
“A lot of our supporters will like me but I’m sure quite a lot of the other teams’ supporters won’t.
“I like to wind people up. It’s all part of the game and I enjoy it.
“I enjoy the physical battle with my opponents, and at the end of the game you shake hands and wish them all the best.
“I like being in a battle rather than a game you can just ease through. That’s why I feel like I’ve been accepted by the supporters here, and by my teammates.
“I’d much rather have myself on my side rather than play against me, just because I am a bit of a pain in the backside!”
With 11 goals to his name, Marquis has already beaten his previous best ever goal tally in a season (10).
Following a succession of loan moves, it is part of his game he has been eager to improve - having grown up at a school of hard knocks.
Marquis says his seven years at Millwall made him into the player he is today.
He said: “I was always kind of like that anyway but playing for Millwall, when you’re brought up in the area and you know what it takes to play for that football club, makes you play a certain way.
“It’s not easy in terms of the pressures. You can’t pull out of a tackle, you can’t pull out of a header.
“It’s almost like you look weak and you don’t want to come across as weak to the supporters, to the manager or to your teammates.
“It’s a culture that they have there and it’s good because it makes you a man a lot quicker.
“But sometimes it can overshadow the footballing ability that you have.
“For a couple of years I felt like when I was out on loan that I had that side to my game but I wasn’t able to show my ability as much.
“Now I’ve come here the manager believes in me and believes in a certain way of playing and I feel like I’ve fitted into it quite well.”