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Barker Wants Attacking Progress

6 February 2014

Boss shifts his attention to other end of the pitch

Richie Barker has worked hard to fix the leak in Pompey’s defence.

But now the Blues boss wants to see the floodgates open at the other end of the pitch.

His side have looked harder to beat in recent weeks, although they undid some of the good work with a 1-0 home defeat to Torquay last Saturday.

Pompey have scored more than once on just one occasion since Barker took charge in December, however.

So now he is wants his squad to focus on creating openings and finding the net on a more regular basis.

Barker said: “We had an issue with conceding goals and – although we haven’t solved that completely – we’re harder to beat now.

“Now we need to move on from ‘harder to beat’ and start winning more football matches.

“We’ll keep working on it and keep trying to do the right things on the training ground.

“If we have a bit more confidence about not conceding, then we can be more positive in our play, which will lead to goals.”

Pompey currently sit 19th in League Two – three points clear of the drop zone, but only four adrift of the top half.

Barker said: “It’s as close as it’s ever been and that shows that there’s very little between the teams.

“I’ve watched a number of DVDs of teams at the top and bottom of the division and if you took the badges off the kits you would struggle to notice the difference.

“Hartlepool didn’t win any of their first six league games this season and Accrington didn’t win in their first 12.

“Obviously neither of them are safe yet, but they’re both out of the bottom five. It shows what you can do if you put a run together.”

Pompey will look to leapfrog 16th-placed Exeter when they travel to St James Park this weekend.

Barker said: “They’re very consistent in terms of how long they’ve been together as a group.

“The manager has got some young, athletic players who like to get the ball down and pass it.

“I saw their game against Oxford recently and there wasn’t a lot in it – bearing in mind there were about 15 places between the sides – so we know it will be tough.”

Barker has no new injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s match, although Danny East (ankle) and Simon Ferry (hamstring) are still sidelined.

Pompey are 13/8 with Sky Bet to beat Exeter. Open an account at www.skybet.com/pompey for great offers and to earn money for the club.

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