Barker urges another positive 10-match run to secure safety

Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler

Richie Barker has challenged his side to launch another improved 10-match run to clinch League Two safety.

Pompey’s encouraging recent record was smashed as they slumped to a 5-1 hammering at Scunthorpe on Saturday.

It was a performance which drew much criticism from the Blues boss towards his players – although he retains the belief there were also positives.

Certainly before that low point they had tasted two defeats in the previous 10 fixtures, collecting four clean sheets in the process.

Now Barker wants to ensure the Iron horror show was nothing more than a blip – starting with tonight’s visit of Accrington.

He said: ‘Speaking to Russ Wilcox (Scunthorpe manager) after the game, he said “You had us on the ropes pretty much before the second goal went in”.

‘The performance was bad, it wasn’t great, but to have 51-per-cent possession away from home against a team at the top of the league is a positive for me.

‘The positives were the number of chances we created, the amount of possession that we had and I thought the way we moved the ball in the first half was good.

‘From going a goal down until pretty much when they scored their second half an hour later, I thought we were the better team.

‘I remember half an hour into the game at 1-0 thinking it was only a matter of time until we got one,

But I have to take my hat off to Scunthorpe – they played mentally and physically like the game was 1-0 constantly all through and that is why they are where they are.

‘I hope it’s a blip and if we only lose two in our next 10 we will be safe with a long way to go.

‘If that is the kick up the backside we needed, then fair enough.

‘When I said before we had lost two of our last 10, perhaps some people weren’t listening.

‘If we are not going to get too carried away after 10 results, let’s not get carried away with one.’

James Beattie’s side have picked up three wins in their past six matches, including a 1-0 victory at Torquay at the weekend.

They are currently in 19th spot – one point above Barker’s team.