Pompey skipper reveals Barker impact

Johnny Ertl lifted the lid on Richie Barker’s first week as Pompey boss and promised: He’s a real professional.

But the Blues captain underlined it’s crucial he and his team-mates do all they can to quickly take on board their new manager’s philosophy.

Johnny Ertl. Picture: Joe Pepler

Johnny Ertl. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ertl insisted the Pompey squad are buying into Barker’s messages as he goes about a high-tempo arrival at Fratton Park.

The midfielder confirmed Barker has been delivering a clear and concise approach to get his plans in place for his opening game in charge against Newport County tomorrow.

He said: ‘We’ve had a team meeting and chat. It was good.

‘He demands professionalism and a work ethic.

‘Every single day you have to do your best.

‘He has made it clear what he wants from day one.

‘It’s been work from the back to the front and really professional. I can see he’s professional.

‘It’s a case of how quickly as a group we can take things on board.

‘What the manager wants us to do on the pitch is the most important thing now.

‘We need to nail down 
what he wants us to take on board.’

Ertl highlighted the fact it will take time for Barker to impress his style of play on the team but the squad are being receptive to his approach.

He said: ‘He’s a great character and he is bringing a lot of enthusiasm.

‘A lot of things on the pitch need to improve.

‘It’s been a few days and we’re working on different areas.

‘It’s a short period of time, and it may take time. You can’t expect wonders.

‘But what we have seen so far is promising and everyone is buying into the ideas.’