New boss already knows about Pompey's passionate fans
Richie Barker’s two previous visits to Fratton Park made quite an impression.
The new Blues boss was part of the Rotherham side beaten 3-2 as Pompey secured the Division One title in April 2003.
He had more success last season, though, leading his Crawley troops to a 2-1 triumph on Boxing Day.
But now Barker is looking forward to receiving the backing of Fratton faithful as he attempts to guide his new team up the League Two table.
He said: “I played here in the game where Pompey won the title and it’s something that has always stuck in the memory.
“I’m sure it was an enjoyable evening for everyone associated with the club and it was certainly a good game to play in.
“The fans were also fantastic when I came here with Crawley on Boxing Day last season.
“They’re very passionate supporters who have even put money in to help save the club and we’ve got to work hard to get them on our side.”
Barker takes over a side sitting 17th in the League Two table and without a win in their last seven matches.
He said: “This is a fantastic football club with a lot of potential. We want to have an immediate impact, but there also needs to be some patience.
“We are where we are – and it’s thanks to some good work by a lot of people that there is still a football club.
“Things aren’t going to happen overnight, but we want to give the fans here something to cheer about.”
Barker will be assisted by former England international Steve Coppell, who has arrived in a director of football role.
“He brings an immense amount of knowledge and experience,” said Barker, “as well as a cool head.
“His record speaks for itself and he’s someone that is very well respected within the game.”