Boss says Scunthorpe were better in every department
Richie Barker believes a lack of desire was to blame for Pompey’s capitulation at Scunthorpe.
The Blues suffered a 5-1 thrashing at Glanford Park, with a hat-trick from David Syers causing much of the damage.
Sam Winnall and Paddy Madden also found the target as Pompey’s sufferend a miserable afternoon on Humberside.
A debut goal from substitute Michael Drennan late on was at least some consolation for the travelling supporters.
But Barker felt that promotion-chasing Scunthorpe simply wanted the win more.
The Blues boss said: “The players did everything that needed to be done during the week and knew everything they needed to know about Scunthorpe.
“But they’ve obviously got better players and are mentally stronger than us. They picked up every second ball and won every 50-50 challenge.
“We created a couple of chances going forward, but they were more ruthless and looked like a team who are in a good place.
“They are where they are because of the desire that they’ve got – you have to be mentally strong to go 16 matches unbeaten.
“With 10 minutes to go they were still chasing lost causes – maybe we’ve got a few players who think they’re too good to do that.
“When you play 50 games a season you have to have some mental desire about you and not enough people here have that.”
With Pompey trailing 3-0, Barker brought on Drennan and Ricky Holmes at the start of the second half.
But it failed to have much of an impact, as Scunthorpe kept up their surge on the Blues goal.
Barker said: “We had to be positive and try to take chances, but I could have taken more than two off at half-time.
“We’ve obviously not got enough of the right people and we are papering over cracks.
“We’re putting band aids on things to get us through to the end of the season as soon as possible.”