Doncaster Rovers: ‘Strikers win you games, defences win you championships’ - Marquis

John Marquis wore the captains armband at Oldham on Saturday.

John Marquis wore the captains armband at Oldham on Saturday.

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“Strikers win you games but defences win you championships.”

Those are the words of joint leading scorer John Marquis ahead of Saturday’s return to League Two action at struggling Exeter City.

Rovers’ recent blip in form has coincided with the absence of Marquis’ strike partner Andy Williams.

But goals are not the problem. Not scoring them, anyhow.

Third-placed Rovers have shipped the same number of goals (22) as bottom club Newport County.

And Marquis admits Doncaster must be more clinical and no-nonsense when it comes to their defending - and cut out the individual errors - if they are to maintain their promotion push.

“We’ve missed Willo but on the other hand we’re still averaging two goals a game which is pretty good,” Marquis told the Free Press.

“If we keep that up throughout the season it’ll be 90-odd goals which should be enough to be near the top end of the table.

“But we’re also conceding a couple too many which is disappointing for us because, as a team, we do work hard on being good defensively when we don’t have the ball.

“It’s a mixture of individual errors and kind of naivety at times.

“Yes we want to play football, but sometimes just put your foot through the ball and get it as far away from our goal as possible and then re-group and play from there.

“There’s been a few times we’ve scored twice and not won the game. Zeros and ones give us a chance of winning the game.

“They say strikers win you games but defences win you championships,” he added.

“If we’re conceding zero or one every game we’ve got enough players to get goals to win games.

“So I think we need to tighten up a little bit but we don’t want to then lose our prowess going forward.

“It’s a fine line.

“Cutting out the individual errors is the main thing.”

n Rovers’ trip to Stevenage, originally scheduled for Tuesday, November 22, has been moved to Saturday, December 3 (3pm).

The EFL suggested the switch with both clubs knocked out of this year’s FA Cup.