JOHN Marquis was delighted to score the late winner against Aston Villa which sent Millwall through to the fifth round FA Cup tie of the FA Cup on Friday.
With the tie evenly poised at 1-1, The Den was a cauldron of noise in the second half as the home fans pushed the Lions on.
It looked like a replay was on the cards until Marquis headed home an 89th minute winner to send the home fans delirious and the striker dedicated his goal, which sets up a trip to Luton, to the supporters.
“I am very happy,” he said.
“We knew we would get a crowd in.
“The fans were fantastic and they really drove us on to get the win.
“They definitely played a part, we can’t emphasise that enough.
“In the second half Villa had a lot of the ball but I think the fans were really driving us on.
“We got the goal we deserved at the end and I think the win was a fair result.”
Marquis has been a fringe figure at The Den in recent times with Chris Wood, Darius Henderson and Andy Keogh ahead of him in the pecking order.
However, with Wood and Henderson no longer at the club, the Lewisham-born youngster knows it is his time to step up to the plate and Friday’s performance will only boost his credentials.
Marquis said: “It has been a long time since my last start and to play and score the goal to put us through is a really good feeling.
“It was tough as I had a couple of operations in 2012 and it was hard being injured seeing the boys doing well.
“I knew that if I worked hard and got back fit, I would always fancy myself to be in and around the squad.
“Tonight I got my chance and I hope I can kick on from here.
“Hendo has left and we are similar sort of players.
“If I can bring more goals to my game hopefully I will get some more minutes to push the team forwards.”
Marquis was also quick to praise Lions captain Danny Shittu for his role in the Villa cup upset.
The Nigerian central defender rejected the chance to play in the African Cup of Nations this month to focus on Millwall and Marquis is clearly pleased with the decision.
“Danny just said exactly what he expects of me and the team,” the striker said.
“He said that if I can hold the ball up and work hard then that will massively help the team and that is exactly what I tried to do.
“As a captain he is a great presence both physically and mentally in the changing room.
“He has been around for a long time and he knows what he is talking about.”
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