Baker: Pompey starting to show attacking talent

CARL BAKER believes Pompey are beginning to realise their potential on the front foot.

Friday, 21st October 2016, 7:01 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:47 am
Carl Baker. Picture: Joe Pepler

And he pinpointed Conor Chaplin as an exciting cog in his team’s attacking wheel as they prepare to shoot down Notts County.

Baker is set to continue an ever-present league campaign against the Magpies at Fratton Park tomorrow.

Gary Roberts matches that record with the pair expected to be part of an attacking quartet in Paul Cook’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

Kyle Bennett has impressed after being recalled to the side in the past two games, with Conor Chaplin starting in five league outings on the spin.

And Baker feels his side’s attacking qualities are really beginning to work together.

He said: ‘I feel the attacking players we’ve got, even the ones on the bench, are all good players.

‘Me, Benno (Bennett) or Milan (Lalkovic), for example, we’re not just a right midfielder or a number 10.

‘We all drift and are difficult to mark. It doesn’t matter who you are playing against – it’s hard to mark.

‘You’ll see me drifting one way, Gary (Roberts) drifting another and Benno going somewhere else.

‘Then you’ve Conor (Chaplin) dropping in and Gary going past. The movement’s difficult to handle.

‘I think we’ve got the quality of players to realise that. We have to understand each other.

‘The more we play together the more we will understand each other better.

‘We’re 13 games in and Benno’s come in for Milan at the moment.

‘We’ve probably only played a few games together really.

‘Hopefully we can click like we’re starting to.

‘It happens in training and we’re unstoppable – but it’s what happens on a Saturday that matters.

‘Hopefully that quality can shine through.’

Fans’ favourite Chaplin appears to be nailing down a first-team spot for Pompey with a run of starts.

Baker spoke of how he enjoys linking up with the talented 19-year-old.

Baker said: ‘He’s got a good relationship with the lads and is right at the heart of the banter. The lads love him.

‘He’s got everything. He can go left and right, is quick and not bad in the air for his size.

‘Conor has a lot to learn but I’m sure the gaffer will guide him in the right direction.

‘You don’t want to burn him out because he’s still a young lad, but he’s scored two of the best goals I’ve seen in a while.

‘The gaffer has to manage him right but, me personally, I love seeing him in the team.

‘I like him as a player and I know what he can give me and what I can get out of him.

‘He can complement me. I can run past him when he has the ball, or when I have it I can play to his feet or know he will make forward runs in the box.

‘He’s quite an easy player to play with. It’s nice for me personally to see him in the starting XI.’