Kenny Jackett pays tribute to Portsmouth hat-trick hero Marcus Harness

Marcus Harness
Marcus Harness - (Copyright PA Archive)
18:48pm, Sat 03 Oct 2020
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Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett hailed the commitment of hat-trick hero Marcus Harness as Pompey secured a 4-2 victory at Burton.

Harness’ opener came with less than ninety seconds on the clock and Jackett bemoaned poor defending that saw his side go in behind at the break as Lucas Akins and an own goal from skipper Tom Naylor turned the game on its head.

But Harness took centre stage in the second half with a backheel and a chipped effort either side of a close-range finish from Jack Watmough to seal a precious three points.

“It was a great hat-trick from Marcus” said Jackett. “He had a great chance at the end of the first half which would have got us back into the game but he didn’t rest on his laurels and he has scored some great goals and hit the target very well.

“Marcus is a very committed player and put in a terrific performance today and was part of a group that deserved their win.

“I thought we were on top in the first half but we gave two poor goals away. Second half we nailed it a bit better at the back and then we continued to go forward and create chances.

“Great as well to score four goals and that will give everybody confidence having only scored one in the league before today.

“We haven’t got the combinations right so far this season but today we showed a bit more resolution and stuck to the plan and it worked for us.”

Burton boss Jake Buxton, meanwhile, cut a frustrated figure as he watched his side let a 2-1 half-time lead slip and was left bemoaning his side’s apparent weakness at set pieces.

Buxton said: “Obviously first half we expected a reaction from the disappointing performance at Swindon and to concede that early I was shocked.

“But credit to the players and the character that they have shown to get back into the game. We got on the front foot and really played well.”

Buxton expected a second-half backlash from Pompey but the lead lasted barely a minute into the second period.

He added: “We spoke at half time about expecting a reaction from Portsmouth. We nullified them to limited opportunities first half so to concede straight after half time was really disappointing.

“The momentum of the game changed. Kenny got a reaction from his team and we looked vulnerable from set plays coming into our box. We have done for a little while now and we need a little more emphasis on the demands from each player.

“Enough is enough. I am really annoyed with the set plays against us and I will be making people accountable for that. We need to get to the bottom of it.”

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