Fogden gives Barker new option

Wes Fogden celebrates a goal against Histon during his time with the Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines
Wes Fogden celebrates a goal against Histon during his time with the Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines

Wes Fogden has handed Richie Barker a different striking option ahead of the trip to Exeter.

The new recruit from Bournemouth has been utilised in a wide role since his January arrival.

But after the recent loan exits of Ryan Bird and David Connolly, the Blues boss’ attacking options are rather more limited, with just Jake Jervis, Ryan Taylor and Patrick Agyemang in the mix.

Ashley Harris has been overlooked in recent weeks, Ricky Holmes can play as a second striker – and now Fogden has given the manager another choice after finding success in a more attacking role at non-league neighbours Hawks.

Fogden explained: ‘I’ve been playing out wide for a lot of years, and then at Havant I moved into a more advanced role.

‘It was sort of as a number 10 and meant I could make runs in behind. It got me my move, really.

‘I was playing left midfield for Havant and then went to a second striker – just in behind playing off the main striker.

‘I got a few goals from that position and I enjoyed it.’

Pompey’s front two of Jervis and Taylor were given precious little service last weekend in the dire 1-0 defeat to Torquay United.

Jervis was also apparently asked to drop deep at times, with Pompey’s central midfield pair of Romain Padovani and Nicky Shorey distinctly second best for long periods of the game.

With Barker usually setting the team up to be harder to break down away from home, the five-man midfield with one striker may be an option this weekend.

But for the last away fixture, Barker went with the Taylor and Jervis partnership in the 1-0 win at Wycombe.

Fogden, who was rested and came on as a substitute in last weekend’s defeat, has no qualms about where he is asked to play – although Barker told The News earlier this week, he does not see him starting in central midfield.

‘Under Lee Bradbury at Bournemouth, I started my first few games in that position off the main striker,’ said Fogden.

‘But then after a little while, I went to right midfield. I can play anywhere across the midfield.

‘Then Eddie Howe came in and played me in centre midfield with three midfielders. And this season, I played at right-back as well.

‘I prefer to be in a more attacking role but, if needs be, I can do a job in defence.

‘A lot of players came in over the summer at Bournemouth. He wanted to keep me around and learn that right-back position.

‘He thought I could do a good job there if needs be. I tried it and I did it for the team but, personally, I like attacking and making runs.

‘At right-back, you need to be a bit more disciplined – so I found that quite tough not to get involved at some stages.

‘Playing in midfield is what I learnt growing up, so it was quite a big change.

‘It’s quite difficult to curb your natural instincts.’

But the 25-year-old insists he will continue to give his all wherever he plays.

He said: ‘If you give 100 per cent, nobody can ask much more.

‘I feel I do that every time I step on to the pitch and that will continue.’