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Doncaster Rovers: John Marquis ‘has been unleashed’

John Marquis
John Marquis

Tommy Rowe believes letting John Marquis off the leash is key to Rovers troubling opposition defences.

Rovers have deployed a stronger pressing game over the last few matches, leading to wins over MK Dons and Scunthorpe United as well as a fine performance in defeat at Oxford United.

Marquis has so far not rediscovered his blistering form of last season, particularly in front of goal.

But he has looked much more like the typically aggressive forward in recent weeks and certainly enjoyed a fiery battle with the Oxford defence last weekend.

And Rowe believes the switch back to the 4-4-2 diamond system as well as upping the intensity of team play has unleashed the real Marquis.

“I wouldn’t get into a fight with him,” Rowe said.

“He takes two or three defenders out at times.

“Oxford couldn’t deal with him early in the first part of that second half.

“They were trying to get him sent off because that’s how hard it is to play against him.

“No one wants to play against him.

“I think the way the team has set up recently has allowed John to come out like that.

“It’s not been a case of him not doing it. He has that commitment every week.

“It’s just sometimes we’re not set up to press and if we’re not in a position to go with two deep, we have keep him in.

“We can’t let him go alone.

“The back four have kept us up the pitch and kept high lines which helps us be aggressive as a team.”

Rowe also praised Marquis and fellow forwards Alfie Beestin and Alfie May for setting the tone for the rest of the team when it comes to intensity.

He believes the space created by the work of the front line helps to get the best out of Rowe and his midfield colleagues.

“The front line of our attack is the trigger for us to go again,” Rowe said.

“John and Alfie have to set it off and me Copps and Ben [Whiteman] have to go again.

“It works as a team unit and if the communication isn’t there it breaks down.

“We’ve seen it break down and teams can find holes in us.

“It’s a real team press, not an individual one like some teams do.

“We work as a unit and do a lot of work on the training pitch.

“That’s key to the management and how they want to work because they put that intensity into us on the training ground.”