IT has been a case of chalk and cheese in the past year or so for Doncaster Rovers’ marksman John Marquis.
After scoring frequently at times last season, en route to becoming the first Rovers’ player since the feted Peter Kitchen in 1976-1977 to score 20 league goals in a campaign, the goals have dried up comparatively for the forward in 2017-18.
That is what happens in football, you go through good and bad spells and he has got to keeping working hard and go back to basics. If he gives you that, he has given everything.Darren Ferguson
So far, it has been an onerous season for the Londoner, who has toiled on occasions with a glaring miss in the 3-0 loss at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night being symptomatic of his woes and a lack of confidence, according to manager Darren Ferguson.
But equally, Ferguson is a great believer in the maxim that if you keep working hard enough and persevere, then your rewards will come further down the line
On the issue of Marquis, who has notched six goals this term, his boss said: “This season he hasn’t perhaps been flying. But I believe that his performances have been good and he has been a handful and helped the team without scoring the goals he would want to score.
“He was unlucky with a couple of occasions against Fleetwood. It was a bad miss at a real critical time in the game (against Wigan). Then there was the one in the second half when he put it on his left foot and you are thinking, ‘Has he really got the belief he would score that?’ whereas last season, he does.
“That is what happens in football, you go through good and bad spells and he has got to keeping working hard and go back to basics. If he gives you that, he has given everything.
“You hope that he will start scoring again and I am going to help build his confidence in that and there are certain ways you can do that. But he has got to maintain the hard work and hope it turns.”
Meanwhile, Ferguson admits that a return to the Keepmoat this afternoon is a timely one after two contrasting away-days at Fleetwood and Wigan, with the emphasis being on Rovers to energise supporters and start making more things happen on home soil after a stodgy season thus far.
Ferguson, who will be without Andy Williams for at least three months with injury, added: “I am glad of the quick turnaround of games and that we are back at home. I am pleased about that.
“I believe that we will get a reaction (from Tuesday night) and that it is a game we can win.”