Marriott hopes to have fired his way into Still’s starting plans

Jack Marriott celebrates his opening goal against Bristol City
Jack Marriott celebrates his opening goal against Bristol City
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Hatters striker Jack Marriott is hoping he has given manager John Still plenty of food for thought after a goalscoring performance against Bristol City in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.

The 20-year-old summer signing from Ipswich Town was handed his full debut for the club and grabbed his opportunity with both hands, netting a clinical double.

It gives Still a real selection dilemma for Saturday as Craig Mackail-Smith and Josh McQuoid were chosen ahead of Marriott for the first league game at Accrington last weekend.

When asked if it could force his manager’s hand, Marriott said: “Hopefully, but we’ll see. I trust the manager to know how to treat me and known when to play me, so I’ll go by whatever decision he makes.

“I’ve got to take every opportunity I get on the pitch to show everyone what I’m about and just keep doing my best for the team as we’re all in this together.

“With the strikers we’ve got, we’ve got a hell of a strikeforce, so I’m just hoping I can do my bit, keep chipping away and hopefully keep them on their toes.

“I’ve got to take every opportunity I get on the pitch to show everyone what I’m about.”

Jack Marriott

“We’re all willing to play together and we can all play together, so that’s a good thing to have.

“When you’ve got four strikers all competing for a place in the team, it’s healthy to have that competition as it keeps everyone on their toes and they know they can’t step off it.

“We know what we want, and if I can add to that, then that’s all good.”

The forward was pleased to show home supporters what he was capable of too on his first real chance.

Marriott had bagged six goals during the pre-season campaign, including an eye-catching four against Barton Rovers, but knew this was the stage he’d be fully judged, continuing: “It’s good to get the fans on your side. Being a new signing coming in, you always want to show them what I’m about and hopefully I’ve done that.

“No disrespect to the preseason friendlies, but they are friendlies.

“They’re there for a reason to get you fit and get you used to the players that have come in and the players you’re going to be playing with.

“This was a very competitive fixture, in the cup, so it means a lot.

“All I want to do while I’m here is work hard, score goals and progress the club as we all know what we want.”

While quickly appearing to have won the fans over after being named man of the match on the night, Marriott has gone some way to impressing his team-mates too since joining.

Striker partner for the evening Paul Benson said: “He was fantastic, a constant menace. His energy was brilliant, and he’s clinical in front of goal, what more can you asked from a centre forward?

“He’s really impressed the boys since he’s come here, I think he’s impressed the manager as well, so is rightly knocking on the door for a start.”

However, boss John Still refused to be drawn though on whether Marriott would be starting against Oxford United this weekend, with preferring to laud the youthful nature of the side that reached round two.

He added: “Jack’s a young man who’s done really well, but it’s one game.

“We like Jack, we tried hard to bring Jack here and brought him here. I look at my team, with Luke Wilkinson, Pottsy (Dan Potts), Steve O’Donnell, Pelly (Ruddock Mpanzu), Cameron (McGeehan), Jack Marriott, I love that.

“The thing we need at the football club is competition when they go out and play as it means the people who are not playing will say ‘if I get back in, I really need to produce’. So that’s a great position to be in.”