Doncaster Rovers: John Marquis out to gun down League One’s top sides

John Marquis
John Marquis

John Marquis has League One’s top six in his sights – in more ways than one.

With Doncaster Rovers beginning 2019 inside the division’s play-off positions, there is a feeling of positivity that they can push on in the second half of the campaign and secure a top six finish.

But to do so, striker Marquis believes the key will be improving their results against their promotion rivals.

Of the other sides currently occupying the top seven places, Rovers have only registered a victory against one, when they beat Luton Town at the Keepmoat earlier in the campaign.

Laudable draws against Portsmouth, Peterborough United and Barnsley are all well and good according to Marquis, but it is victories that matter the most.

“I think a big thing will probably be getting better results against the teams in the top six,” he told the Free Press.

“When you start beating those teams then you're closing the gap to them a lot more than when you draw.

“Portsmouth, Peterborough, Barnsley were draws, we beat Luton and lost to Sunderland and Charlton.

“Looking at those games, we've only got one win out of the teams in the top six or seven.

“But if you can turn it to three wins and a couple of draws in the second half of the season, people will start looking over their shoulders and be wary of us.”

Marquis also wants to see Rovers showing a more ruthless edge against opposition teams, making sure games are quickly put to bed.

But he says that comes down to showing more care once they go ahead in games.

He said:  “I think if we really want to be right up there at the end of the season, we need to be better and tidier when we are 2-0 up to go and get three or four.

“Why can't we do it?

“We did it earlier in the season and it puts a good statement out if you can do that to teams, no matter who they are.

“You need to just make sure you're winning games but if you can get better and tidier in those last areas, then we've got a lot of goals in the team and we're keeping the opposition to zeros and ones at the other end which helps us win games.”

Marquis is looking forward to taking a step away from League One action this weekend when Rovers visit Preston North End in the FA Cup.

And he sees no reason why Rovers cannot continue their progress in the competition with victory over the Championship side.

He said: “Preston are a good team and it'll be tough.

“It'll be a good test and I think as a group we'll look forward to it.

“It's a time where we can put league form to one side.

“When we played Chorley we said if and when we win we can get a big team in the next round and it's the same here.

“If we can beat Preston, which I think is a more than winnable game for us, then we can get another big draw in the fourth round.

“We want a cup run and get as far as we can.

“But if it doesn't happen we can concentrate on the league and see where that takes us.”