Boss hails the roles of Connolly and Jervis against Mansfield
Pompey need inspiration from somewhere.
Trailing 1-0 to Mansfield and starting to run out of ideas going forward, Richie Barker made a bold attacking move.
The Blues boss replaced two midfielders with two strikers, chucking on David Connolly and debutant Jake Jervis.
And the gamble paid off as the former – just seconds after hitting the post – teed up Ryan Taylor for an equaliser.
“It was important that we didn’t let a rot set in,” said Barker. “So we made the substitutions to try to give ourselves a lift and they both looked bright.
“I thought David was excellent and did exactly what we asked him to. He looked bright and sharp – him and Nicky Shorey just looked cleverer than anyone else.
“He was influential when he came on, but can we put him out there for 90 minutes week in, week out? Probably not.
“We have to use him when we can, but we’ve also got more options up front now with Ryan and Jake.”
Despite fighting back for a draw, Barker was frustrated this side were not able to claim all three points.
He said: “I wasn’t pleased with the result, but I was pleased with about 80 per cent of the performance.
“We quite clearly should have won the game because we had the most chances and were far the better team.
“We started the game pretty well and then lost our way a bit, but I thought we were excellent towards the end.
“We’ve dropped two points because we deserved more, but that’s one defeat in five and we have to take the positives from that.”
Simon Ferry limped off early in the second half with a recurrence of the hamstring injury that has plagued the midfielder for much of the season.
Barker said: “It’s the same as what he’s had before – the same old problem. It comes back every couple of weeks, but hopefully it’s not as bad as it has been before.”