Grant McCann insists John Marquis ‘needs to be loved’ after the Doncaster Rovers striker reacted angrily to criticism aimed in his direction during Tuesday night’s win over Chorley.
Marquis had been subjected to numerous shouts from the stands after his second half penalty was saved by Chorley keeper Matt Urwin.
And another came as he collected a pass on the flank before he cut inside and curled a wonderful effort into the top corner from the edge of the box, ending a five match sequence without a goal.
As he celebrated he shouted towards the critical supporter before cupping his ears to the stands.
Defending Marquis, boss McCann put the incident down to frustration from the striker and insists he just wants the adulation of Rovers fans.
“Where I’m stood I can hear a few fans grumbling about John,” McCann said.
“That's 11 goals he’s got now. You’ve got to be careful.
“I think John is the type of character who doesn’t like people on his back.
“He wants people to love him. And we love him.
“He’s imperative to us, he really is.
“His workrate, his energy, his appetite to press, he gets us up the pitch.
“Maybe he shouldn’t do it but maybe he was just getting frustrated at people shouting at him.
“That's just John, that’s his character.
“He knows the Doncaster fans love him really.
“He’s been outstanding for this club for two and a half years.
“One or two people’s opinions doesn’t have to define you.”
Marquis has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks due to missed chances and few opportunities at adding to his goal tally.
For the second consecutive game at the Keepmoat he ran straight down the tunnel at full time rather than joining his team mates in acknowledging supporters.
McCann describes the 26-year-old as ‘having an edge’ to his game and believes encouraging him to keep a check on his frustrations when out on the pitch would take something away from him.
But he will not be putting a conciliatory arm around Marquis any time soon.
“The only person who can put an arm around John and tell him he’s okay is his mother,” he said.
“He is that sort of person.
“He lives on the edge, he plays on the edge and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I can imagine he’s a nightmare to play against with some of his movement and the way he holds the ball up, how aggressive he is.
“His overall workrate for us is top class.
“I think if John took that edge away he'd be half the player.
“He likes maybe one or two people having a go at him so he can react and score.
“That is him.
“I’ve told John this, I was a similar type when I played. It used to take people saying things about me, or something to happen to rile me to get my best form.
“He's a winner. An out-and-out winner.
“He just loves winning and scoring goals. If he doesn’t score he’s not happy but he's over the moon the team has won.
“Maybe he doesn’t show it but he is.
“He’s brilliant for us, we love him.”