John Marquis needs to rediscover his aggressive streak if he is to return to the form of last season, Darren Ferguson believes.
The Doncaster Rovers striker has failed to reach the heights of his excellent 2016/17 campaign so far, and was benched for Wednesday’s midweek trip to Arsenal as a result.
Boss Ferguson praised Marquis for his response to being left out but says the 25-year-old still has a way to go to get back to his best.
“I just feel that John’s been over-thinking things a bit, maybe taking on more responsibility,” Ferguson told The Star.
“Certainly, he needs to get back to being aggressive, really hard to play against, running down defenders.
“He knows that and I think we’ve just got to help him with that and he’s got to help himself.
“The reaction he’s given since he was told on Tuesday morning that he would not be playing against Arsenal and why he wasn’t playing has been excellent.
“It was one I fully expected from him.”
Ferguson believes a period out of the side can bring positive results.
He took Andy Williams out of the team shortly after arriving as Rovers boss and the striker embarked on a run of 11 goals in 14 appearances soon after being reinstated.
Ferguson said: “Sometimes it’s not bad coming out of the team and going back in again. Having a period out of the team.
“John understands the reasons why and he’s reacted really well.
“I could see his reaction in the 15 minutes he was on at the Emirates.
“He was more at it, more himself.
“That’s what I wanted and that’s all I’m after from the players.
“John gave me a reaction.”
Liam Mandeville is a doubt for today’s game at Plymouth due to injury.