Bristol Rovers look at Portsmouth midfielder and Joey Barton’s hopes from Marquis

Tom Lowery was someone Bristol Rovers had considered signing but he ended up at Fratton Park
Tom Lowery could line up against Bristol Rovers this Saturday. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)Tom Lowery could line up against Bristol Rovers this Saturday. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Tom Lowery could line up against Bristol Rovers this Saturday. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Joey Barton has revealed that Portsmouth midfielder Tom Lowery was player that he had considered signing for Bristol Rovers this summer.

Lowery joined the Hampshire outfit from Crewe Alexandra for an undisclosed fee at the start of August in what has been a busy transfer window for Danny Cowley and his staff.

The 24-year-old penned a three-year deal with the Blues and is one of a few midfielders in contention to line up against the Gas at Fratton Park this Saturday.

Lowery however was a player that the Rovers boss was considering looking at when making his additions this summer with six new faces in so far.

Rovers had already got Jordan Rossiter through the door and so he would have complimented the options already at their disposal, with a search for a new midfielder continuing.

Speaking in his pre-match conference ahead of the trip to the South Coast, he mapped out how the opposition might line-up as well as his interest in one of their players.

He said: “I think they are a really good team. They have solid components and a solid back four with Joe Rafferty who was at Preston, Ogilvie at Gillingham and Raggett and Morrison who was at Reading will win all the aerial balls and give them a set-play threat.

“Marlon Pack will be the playmaker, Tom Lowery who we were looking at ourselves will be a bag of energy in there.

Whether they go Dale, Hackett-Fairchild and Jacobs in a wide area I’m not sure. Curtis will be the other wide play who is a maverick and an x-factor for them.

“It will be Colby Bishop who has had a great start to his career there and either Pigott or Scarlett who played against Cambridge.

“They aren’t going to change for us, they  will be 4-4-2 or 4-1-3-2 when they are squeezing the pitch down. They will do all the basics well and they attack you from their own throw-ins.”

One Pompey player he was able to recruit was striker John Marquis, who could make his return to where he enjoyed a spell of his career.

Marquis had two spells there, a small loan spell before a more permanent spell from 2019 to 2022. The 30-year-old scored 36 goals in his two-and-half seasons, racking up 121 appearances.

He later joined Lincoln City on a short-term deal before ending up at the Memorial Stadium where he has so far started in every league match.

Despite his ever present status, Saturday’s match could see a tactical tweak with the Rovers boss admitting he could have to settle for a place on the substitutes bench.

Asked about Marquis’ return, he said: “It’s if he starts. I’m not sure what we will do in terms of our team shape at the moment. I’m not sure whether John will start in terms of Raggett and Morrison will look to somebody to have a scrap with.

“I may play with a false nine in there and do something slightly different. They will find out when our team sheet comes on Saturday.

“John will a part in the game for sure. We talk about starters and finishers and we’ll have a plan for the start and certainly we want to make some impact off of the bench.

“Hopefully he scores a goal and celebrates. I hate to see this in the modern game now where people score goals and don’t celebrate.

“I’m not sure whether John will want to and hopefully we’ll see the answer after that after kick-off on Saturday.”