Harris: Millwall keeping close tabs on Gillingham loanee

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NEIL Harris is closely watching John Marquis' performances for Gillingham and says the striker could come into Millwall's thinking for next season.

Marquis, whose contract at The Den expires in the summer, has scored 7 goals in 13 League One appearances since moving to the Kent side on loan.

The 22-year-old was told in January that his deal wouldn't be renewed but Ian Holloway responded to Marquis' form by suggesting he wanted to keep the striker in SE16.

And Harris thinks very highly of the Lewisham-born frontman, who Gillingham hope to sign permanently.

"John's done really well at Gillingham and he's got a bright future," said interim boss Harris.

"He's scoring goals and deep down he's a Millwall boy that wants to play.

"What happens in the future is a conversation which will unfold as time goes by but we're certainly keeping close tabs on John and I speak to him regularly."

Millwall have also been monitoring centre back Jake Goodman during his loan spell at AFC Wimbledon, while Harris has been to see Fred Onyedinma play – and score – for Wycombe.

"John, Jake and Fred are three players that I know extremely well," Harris added.

"Jake and Fred have played a lot of games for me in the U21s, and so has John this year and last year.

"John I know really well because I've played with him – I know his character and capabilities inside out.

"I've watched John and Fred three times each in the last few months and they've scored every time I've been there, which is a big bonus for them!

"Fred is contracted to us and will be back next year to play in a Millwall shirt.

"Jake went out for first-team experience and he's someone we're also watching. Fred, John and Jake certainly have to come into our thinking for next season."

Regardless of who's in charge at The Den next season, Harris believes Millwall's youngsters will have a big part to play.

"There's a change in what the philosophy of the club is," he said. "Years ago it used to be bringing through young players and letting them flourish.

"If that means you struggle for a year or two, then that's how it was. We're talking about that again."

Two academy graduates – Sid Nelson and Aiden O'Brien – impressed in Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Brighton.

"Both were outstanding," Harris said. "Sid keeping a clean sheet in the first team is like a striker scoring his first goal.

"He'll remember that. He was outstanding against two very, very good and experienced centre forwards.

"I thought he did really well. Yes, he's going to get things wrong, of course he is, but senior players will get things wrong as well.

"Aiden was bright, lively and a goal threat. He's bubbly and he just plays. Where is the pressure for the young lads? Just enjoy it – we've not been winning games anyway."

Alex Aldridge


81 thoughts on “Harris: Millwall keeping close tabs on Gillingham loanee

  • March 19, 2015 at 10:06

    Obviously getting ready for the drop.............hardly surpring though
    Marquis was and is crap - we need to set our horizons higher or we will continue on the slippry slope.

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    • March 19, 2015 at 10:15

      @crow191049: Marquis is a young striker who is only just coming through...there aren't many strikers under 21 being consistent in the Championship. He's scoring in League 1, which is where we are most likely to be next season. A prolific League 1 striker...what else would you want in that league? Would like to know what these higher horizons are...

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      • March 20, 2015 at 08:50

        @jenks4: How about some encouragement for one of our promising youngsters. He hasn't looked great when hes played for us agreed, but clearly he has it in him. If we get relegated then he is the future for a club with no money in modern football.
        I'm also wondering how many league one goals you scored in your illustrious football career, or were you also "crap"?

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      • March 20, 2015 at 08:52

        @jenks4: Apologies jenks, that was meant for the delluded crow1091049

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    • March 19, 2015 at 10:27

      @crow191049: I said this many times before, Marquis was only ever used by KJ when the team had multiple injuries and he was never loaned out with any real intent to develop him. Also, the only time he got a short run in the team (3 games!!) he got injured and was out for months. He is now now performing at a decent level and is at an age where he will improve with every game he plays. It would be idiotic to let him go if he hasn't had the desire drained by his experiences at our club over the last 3-4 seasons.

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    • March 19, 2015 at 11:48

      @crow191049I'm all for giving our young players a chance, but Marquis is just been another Braniff for me. He tries hard, has had loads of games over the years but just hasn’t been good enough. He's done well at Gillingham and we'll be in the same division next year, but we need to start setting our standards higher.

      To get promoted out of Division One you need some quality strikers – in the past we’ve had Harris, Morison, Sad’s, Moody and going back to the Eighties Fash and Lovell. I think we should see what we can get for him and put it towards investing in some real quality for a change.

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      • March 19, 2015 at 13:44

        @Micky Lions: He's out of contract in the summer, if we don't offer him a contract he will go for £0

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        • March 19, 2015 at 16:44

          @Mick M: because he's under 24 if we offer him a contract & he turns it down & gillingham sign him they will have to pay us compensation

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          • March 19, 2015 at 17:23

            @block 28: In that case I'd offer him a derisory deal so we get something from Gillingham - everyone’s happy.

            We need a proper clear-out of all the deadwood in the summer and Marquis would near the top of my list to go. The new manager will have his work cut out building a team with the players that are left and hopefully bringing in better players for Division One.

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          • March 20, 2015 at 13:04

            @block 28: Thanks, wasn't aware of that!

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  • March 19, 2015 at 10:20

    The lad needs a decent run in the side before getting slated, I remember sadlier getting stick but ended up doing well before his injury.

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