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Barker: A Battle Ahead

23 January 2014

Boss says plenty of sides in fight to beat the drop

The Blues have lost only one of their last five League Two matches.

But that run – which includes one win and three draws – has failed to coincide with a rise up the table.

Pompey find themselves both two places and two points above the trapdoor, with 26 matches played.

But Richie Barker takes comfort from the fact that there are so many sides involved in the battle to beat the drop.

The Blues boss said: “We’re certainly moving in the right direction. Is it perfect? No. Can we keep improving? Yes.

“If you look above us there are only a few points separating a lot of teams, so there’s not a lot in it.

“The reason we’re not moving away from the bottom two despite only losing one in five is because everyone else is picking up points.

“There are probably a few sides in mid-table who are looking down and thinking there’s still work to do.”

Pompey will be looking for just a second away league victory of the season when they make the long journey to face Jim Bentley’s Morecambe this weekend.

Barker said: “Jim has done a fantastic job to get them just outside the play-off places.

“It’ll be a difficult place to go and you have to add the long journey into the equation – we won’t be taking anything for granted.”

New signing Ben Chorley won’t be able to feature at the Globe Arena as he completes a three-game suspension.

But recent arrivals Nicky Shorey, Wes Fogden, Ryan Taylor and Jake Jervis will all be in contention.

Barker said: “I’m happy with the additions that we’ve made and the competition for places in the squad.

“The boys have fitted in pretty well – although it won’t all come together overnight. Most have come from sitting on the bench with their previous team and just want to play.

“We’ve got some good options with players in different positions, which gives us the opportunity to try out other shapes.”

Pompey are 8/5 with Sky Bet to win on Saturday. Sign up to an account via www.skybet.com/pompey for great offers and to earn money for the club.

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