Doncaster Rovers: ‘Nothing would make me happier than completing the job we set out to achieve’ – John Marquis on the future, goals and the play-offs

What the future holds for John Marquis and Doncaster Rovers is yet to be determined.

Saturday, 11th May 2019, 9:00 am
John Marquis

Successive transfer windows have delivered intense interest in a striker labelled the best in League One by his manager.

Big money deadline day bids were batted away by Rovers who had no interest in parting with the talismanic forward at such a pivotal stage of the season.

After hitting the 25 goal mark with a late strike against Coventry City that drew a huge sigh of relief and confirmed Rovers' place in the play-offs, Marquis will almost certainly garner plenty more interest this summer.

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But before all that is the chance for the 26-year-old to put himself squarely in the spotlight by firing Rovers into the Championship.

When asked about his future, Marquis wisely takes the 'we will see what happens' line.

And he is determined to make sure part of 'what happens' is promotion for the team that has well and truly accelerated his career.

"Whatever happens I can look back on the season and say I've enjoyed it," he told the Free Press.

"Nothing more would make me happier than complete what we set out, to get to the Championship with Doncaster.

"I'm not going to get too carried away and say it will happen but I'm confident in this dressing room going into these games.

"There is no one in our team I'd swap for anyone in any of the other teams in the play-offs.

"We're going in there as a unit and we'll see what can happen."

The interest received by Marquis could easily see him believe he is bigger than the team.

But instead he takes every opportunity he can to praise the Rovers squad.

High on his list of laudable attributes of his team mates is the sort of work ethic he himself displays in abundance.

"When the gaffer came in last summer, we sat down in La Manga and he gave us a list of goals," he said.

"Everything we said we could achieve, we've done.

"The only thing we said we could do but haven't is aim for the top two and our lack of consistency probably cost us coming anywhere near that.

"We are a good side and we work hard.

"I'd go as far as to say there's probably not many other teams in the league who cover as much ground as us and work as hard with and without the ball.

"We know when we use it correctly we can cause teams trouble and hopefully over the two legs we can show that."

His close range strike against Coventry had barely hit the back of the net before Marquis' phone began buzzing.

His goal had helped secure a play-off semi-final against Charlton Athletic.

And as a south London boy born and bred, Marquis has plenty of family and friends keen to watch him in next Friday's second leg at The Valley.

Then there is the connection with boyhood club Millwall, which he believes will get him plenty of backing in the semi-final clash,

"It wasn't long after the game I'd already had a few text messages, eying up tickets," he said.

"It's local for me and there will be a lot of friends and family wanting to go.

"There's the connection with Millwall as well so I'm sure the Millwall supporters would like to see me do a job on Charlton. They'd enjoy it.

"It's another game and I just have to see what happens.

"We've got the first leg at home and we're going to have to do well in that to make sure we can go down there and win the tie."

Charlton are almost certain to deliver a tough test for Rovers, having surged into third spot due to superb form into 2019 to date.

The impressive run of Lee Bowyer's side saw them overtake Portsmouth and Sunderland on the final day of the season to take third.

Marquis admits he was surprised to see Rovers up against them in the play-offs but says there is nothing to fear despite the Addicks' excellent form.

"We'll take anyone," he said. "We're not scared of anyone.

"We'll have a right go at our place and then down there.

"I was surprised it was them. They've stuck a good run together to try to get third.

"Charlton it is and I'm looking forward to it already.

"I'm sure they're a confident bunch of lads and they'll fancy themselves as well, especially the run they're on.

"We've played them three times this season so we know what their strengths are and they know ours.

"It's over two legs so we'll see what happens."

After a summer of turmoil following a lacklustre campaign, finishing sixth in League One is a considerable achievement from Rovers and boss Grant McCann.

But Marquis insists none of the squad are believing any job has been completed yet,

"From where we were last season it is an achievement," he said.

"We're not resting on it, thinking we've come sixth and we'll just see what happens now.

"We're going into these games to win, that's for sure.

"There's probably been a lot of talk about the other teams, saying how good they are. Well let's see how good they are.

"They've probably finished with a lot more points than us but it's three games.

"If we win the next three games then we'll be in the Championship next season.

"That is the only thing we're concentrating on, trying to get a result against Charlton in the next two and then if we can, get to Wembley and see what happens there."