For the second time in three years, striker John Marquis has played an influential role in shaping Northampton Town’s history, albeit on this occasion in very different circumstances.
Signed on loan at the end of the 2013/14 campaign, Marquis netted two crucial goals in the closing stages of a season-long relegation scrap as he helped steer the Cobblers to safety after the club looked destined to drop out of the Football League.
Two years later and the Millwall man is once again on the goal trail at Sixfields, except this time his five goals in 10 appearances have put the seal on a very different season, a season that culminated in promotion to League One at the weekend.
Marquis didn’t score in Saturday’s game, which ended 2-2 against Bristol Rovers, but he produced another impressive all-round performance having started as a lone striker, topped off with an assist.
“I was here a while ago in very different circumstances and we completed the job back then and the job this time was to help get Northampton promoted and we’ve achieved that,” said Marquis after Saturday’s draw.
“It’s a lot different to last time and it’s nice this time because the team was in a good position and I just wanted to add to that and bring my experience.
“I feel like I’ve done that and I’ve scored a few vital goals in my 10 games here and now we want to go and win this league because that’s the next challenge.
“There’s been a lot of ups and downs this season and it was a joy to watch and then be involved in some of the performances.
“Even though we’re top of the league and we’ve won promotion, it’s not been easy for the manager or for the players but now we can enjoy it.”
Marquis’ tireless work ethic and willingness to chase down every ball has quickly won him the love of Cobblers fans, and it’s a feeling which is reciprocated.
“It’s like a family here,” he added. “Everyone is so together and every single player in the dressing room would run their socks off for each other.
“What Northampton have achieved is fantastic when you look where they were two years ago when they almost fell out of the league.
“All we can to now is win the league and that’s what we deserve. That’s what the supporters deserve, what the manager and Knilly (Alan Knill) deserve and what the chairman deserves.
“There’s no good being in this position and not going on to win the league.”
Marquis has previously indicated his desire to make the loan move from Millwall to Northampton permanent and he repeated that again after promotion was won, adding: “I’ve loved my time here.
“I loved it last time too and now we’ve got a promotion and I’ve really enjoyed it.
“All I can do now is play as freely and enjoy the last five games of the season and see where that takes me.
“I really like this club and I really like the way the manager believes in me and the assistant manager believe in my ability and let me go and play and express myself.
“So hopefully if something is there for me it’d definitely be something I’d consider.
“I’ve come here to play games and do well. My contract’s up at Millwall so all I can do is play as much as I can, do well and help the team.”