MAR­QUIS WANTS A CHANCE AT LIONS

The Football League Paper - - FOCUS ON - By Char­lie Tal­bot-smith

THE last weekend of the sea­son could not have worked out much bet­ter for John Mar­quis.

While the 21-year-old was fir­ing in Northamp­ton’s opener to seal their re­mark­able es­cape from the drop in League Two, his par­ent club Mill­wall were do­ing ex­actly the same in the Cham­pi­onship.

The front-man joined the Cob­blers on loan back in Fe­bru­ary and while the goals did not flow ini­tially, he found his range when it counted with cru­cial strikes against Bur­ton and Ox­ford at the back end of the sea­son.

Chris Wilder’s re­mark­able trans­for­ma­tion of Northamp­ton, who were in the rel­e­ga­tion zone from Septem­ber un­til their penul­ti­mate game of the cam­paign, has been one of the great Hou­dini acts in a thrilling League Two sea­son.

And with Ian Hol­loway also work­ing his magic at the Den, Mar­quis can re­turn home with his head held high.

“Ob­vi­ously to play a part in keep­ing Northamp­ton up is a good feel­ing, they were a long way adrift ear­lier on in the sea­son so to stay in the di­vi­sion is a huge achieve­ment,” he said.

“Satur­day was a good day in that sense be­cause I was also check­ing the scores to see if Mill­wall had man­aged to stay up and to have both your loan and your par­ent club do it was fan­tas­tic.

“Chris came in at Northamp­ton and has done a fan­tas­tic job.

“He brought in a few new faces in­clud­ing my­self, the chair­man gave him some money to bring in play­ers and he shaped the team very quickly.

“He brought us to­gether and to be quite hon­est he was worked won­ders for Northamp­ton.

“Ob­vi­ously it was frus­trat­ing to see the po­si­tion that Mill­wall were in but to not be able to do some­thing about it.

“But the play­ers they had at the club dug in, got some good re­sults and I’m de­lighted they man­aged to stay in the Cham­pi­onship.”

Back­ing

It was not all good news for Mar­quis af­ter what has been a stop-start cam­paign for the front man with loan spells at Portsmouth and Torquay also to his name dur­ing the sea­son.

The Gulls failed to avoid the drop and Mar­quis was quick to ad­mit that with an ex­tra year on his deal at Mill­wall for next sea­son, he is des­per­ate to be a Cham­pi­onship striker rather than a League Two jour­ney­man.

“I back my­self as a Cham­pi­onship goalscorer,” he added.

“If I can get a good run of games I fancy my­self to score goals at that level.

“The man­ager thought I was not ready this year but I want to make my name at Mill­wall.

“For a num­ber of rea­sons it has been very stop start with in­juries in par­tic­u­lar so I have to stay fit first and then try and kick on.”

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