WHEN it comes to Doncaster Rovers’ brain trust, John Marquis is a fully-fledged member.
This is the considered view of Darren Ferguson and, while delighted with the striker’s 13-goal input for the League Two leaders, his game intelligence has been his defining feature, according to Rovers’ manager.
Marquis was outstanding in the recent keynote win over Portsmouth, with Rovers being refreshed and revived for this afternoon’s trip to face the in-form Bees at Underhill.
Ferguson said: “John has not been a regular 20-goals-a-season man and I think the reasons for that are that he has never had the consistency in playing every week.
“Now he has found his home, as such, he is playing very well and is a massive part of what we are trying to do and has chipped in with goals, which, as a striker, you always get judged on.
“He is in form and I wasn’t concerned he had gone a few games without scoring (before Portsmouth).
“Without being disrespectful, he is a lot more intelligent footballer than what I thought and you don’t have to tell him twice.
“He picks things up very well and has a really good knowledge of the game tactically.
“Until you work with someone, you don’t get to know that.”
Rovers have bolstered their goalkeeping department by bringing in Manchester City’s Ian Lawlor, with the Dubliner signing a deal until the summer of 2019.
The 6ft 4ins goalkeeper, 22, who spent previous loan spells at Bury and Barnet, will go straight into the squad to face one of his former clubs today.
On moving to Rovers, Lawlor, who will compete for a place with Ross Etheridge after Marko Marosi was ruled out for three months with an ankle injury, said: “I’m delighted to be here,
“I spoke with the manager and saw the ambition of the club. Obviously we’re on a great run at the moment, but to see the future is something I want to be a part of.
“It’s nice to have the feeling that they want me to come in on a permanent basis, but there is nothing guaranteed in football, so I’m ready for a battle,” he added.
Nottingham Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi has announced that a prospective takeover of the club by an American consortium has fallen through.
Al Hasawi said the deal, which had been expected to be finalised this week, was “not in the interests of the long-term future of our club”.