Doncaster Rovers: 'I don't think it has as much of an effect on the players as it may seem looking in' - Matty Blair on coping with John Marquis' departure
Matty Blair has backed the Doncaster Rovers squad to shake off the disappointment of John Marquis' departure and thrive in his absence.
Marquis joined League One rivals Portsmouth on Wednesday for a fee close to £2million after netting 66 goals in 153 appearances for the club over three years.
Blair believes the impact of the striker's departure will not be as keenly felt by the Rovers squad as it may appear, with the focus being to cover his absence as a collective.
"I don't think it has as much of an effect on players as it may do looking in," Blair said.
"A lot of people looking in will think 'John Marquis has left - Donny are going to struggle this season.'
"As a group of players and, in particular, this group of players, we all have this an underlying confidence which isn't arrogance.
"We all believe in each other and we all back each other.
"That is more important as a squad than any one individual player.
"Yes, John leaving is a blow because of his character and his goals.
Sign up to our daily newsletter
"But I'd like to think we've got enough in there to replace that.
"Not necessarily as one person, but with everyone looking after each other and coming together."
Marquis became the latest senior figure to depart the club this summer, following former captains Andy Butler and Tommy Rowe in leaving the Keepmoat.
Blair believes the younger members of the squad are the better for having worked alongside the trio and are ready to step up following their departures.
"Those figures that have left have left their imprint on the younger ones or the ones that have come into the club," Blair said.
"They will now take the steps forward and become those figures.
"The squad look after each other and we are so tight. We have a laugh and a joke but there is always a serious underlying hard work and ethic in us."