Barker: There’s more to come

Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler
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Richie Barker saluted the best footballing display of his Pompey managerial reign and insisted: There’s more where that came from.

The Blues grabbed a worthy point at League Two leaders Chesterfield in last night’s televised fixture.

There may have been an obvious absence of goals, but the visitors produced their most entertaining display of Barker’s 15-game tenure.

Pompey’s manager has long stressed that performances would not be pretty as he bids to grind out the results to remain in the Football League.

It is an aspect of his time in charge which has received criticism from some fans, irrespective of some encouraging results.

But last night the Blues outplayed their hosts Chesterfield on occasions with some fluent and eye-catching football, while only the post denied front man Jake Jervis from recording a winner.

And Barker believes similar entertaining performances are on their way.

He said: ‘That’s the best football we have played under me – but I would have to say that’s the best pitch we’ve played on, so it helps.

‘We’ve ground out a few 0-0s at places and taken points, but last night we didn’t just grind out a result, we stuck to a game plan and should have won the game.

‘We were definitely going to try to hit them on the counter-attack and at times I thought some of our football was excellent.

‘We got a little bit sloppy a couple of times.

‘But when you play like that it is going to happen on occasions – I still thought they passed the ball around well.

‘We were on a big stage and trying to promote what we are trying to do and it was important to show people on television we were going in the right direction.

‘People who tuned in saw a 0-0, but it must have been a very entertaining 0-0 to watch.

‘There was a time for 25 minutes during the first half when it was like a basketball match, with you attack and then we attack.

‘It must have been entertaining to watch, especially with some extremely physically fit players out there who worked extremely hard.

‘We also picked attacking players. People like Romain (Padovani) and Wes (Fogden) are always going to break, they can handle the ball.

‘I thought Toumani (Diagouraga) was excellent in what we asked him to do and I thought the two wide players were excellent.

‘We are evolving.’

Interestingly, Barker gave a nod of acknowledgement towards the Proact Stadium pitch for its role in the match.

And he credits that surface for helping bring out the best of his team last night.

He added: ‘It’s the best pitch in the division by a mile so I think if we are given that surface on a weekly basis that is how we would play.’