Doncaster Rovers: John Marquis opens up about his future and January transfer interest

While Doncaster Rovers supporters were frantically refreshing websites and Twitter feeds, the evening of transfer deadline day was a much more relaxed affair for the man at the centre of the speculation.

Friday, 15th February 2019, 22:15 pm
Updated Friday, 15th February 2019, 22:22 pm
John Marquis

"I was just sat at home, watching tele, I popped to Asda, that was it really."

For John Marquis, the speculation was nothing more than just that.

John Marquis

The striker had been told by manager Grant McCann that, regardless of the money offered by interested clubs, he would not be leaving Rovers in January.

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It was a stance held by the club from last summer, when two bids were rejected out of hand. And when Sunderland came knocking late in the winter window, Rovers held firm.

A reported £2m bid was lodged on January 31, but Rovers had shut up shop at that point and were not willing to listen.

So Marquis knew he was safe with a leisurely stroll around the supermarket.

"All jokes aside, I knew what was happening," he told the Free Press.

"After training I sat down with the manager. It was pretty clear what the manager, Gavin Baldwin and the club's stance was - I wasn't going anywhere.

"That was fine and that was it."

Marquis has been in stunning form this season, netting his 22 goal of the campaign in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Southend United as Rovers continued their push for promotion.

Such form meant the 26-year-old was more than happy to accept being told he was staying put at the Keepmoat.

And he revealed he would not have felt comfortable leaving Rovers at such a pivotal point.

"I said to the gaffer that I started a project when I came here and that continued when the gaffer came in," he said.

"There was obviously interest in the summer. I spoke to him and he told me to believe in what he wanted to achieve here and me being a part of that.

"To have done the first six months of that and then to have left and not finish what I'd started probably wouldn't have been right by myself.

"I would have felt like I would be letting my team mates and supporters down, especially on the last day."

McCann and chief executive Baldwin have been honest and realistic throughout the campaign, suggesting Marquis' talents may see him grow at a pace the club may not be able to match quickly enough.

The striker himself shares a similar, understandable stance and says this summer will be a time of reflection about the next stage of his career.

"The summer is a different time, things may change," he said.

"The club's view on it may be different then. My contract will be going into my last year and the club's approach may be different.

"Depending on what league we're in could also make a difference.

"I've always said I want to play as high as possible, I want to challenge myself and I want to improve.

"I'm doing that at the minute at Doncaster.

"In the summer it may be a different story."

Marquis' commitment to Rovers was lauded by chairman David Blunt at the recent Meet The Owners event, drawing a hearty round of applause from supporters present.

He appeared moved by the reception, though denied claims by club secretary Mary Lally, who he was sitting alongside, that it made him teary-eyed.

"Mary said I was crying," he said. "I wasn't actually crying, just to clear that up.

"It's nice when people say nice things about you, especially the people at the top of the club.

"I think the chairman understands my position quite well and I understand the club's position as well - at the time which was there was no amount of money I could have gone for on the last day because the club couldn't replace me.

"My whole stance all the time is every time I put on the red and white of Doncaster I give 110 per cent.

"Until I'm, told otherwise I will continue to do that whether it's the last day of the window or the first day.

"I believe since the window shut my performances have gone up.

"I feel like I'm getting back to my very best so it's not an issue."

Though there have been the odd few moans and groans thrown the way of Marquis after a missed chance or two, generally he has been warmly embraced by a Rovers support declaring him ‘the best striker in the Football League.’

And he appreciates the backing he has received throughout the recent speculation over his future.

He said: “"They pay their money every week to come and support the team.

“Playing how I do, giving 110 per cent, there will be days when I don't have the best time in front of goal or my touch might be off but I leave nothing unturned when I'm out there.

“Hopefully I can more good days than bad which I've been doing so far.”