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Barker: A Tough Run

24 March 2014

Boss prepares to face league leaders

A midweek trip to Rochdale is not ideal at the best of times.

But Pompey make the long trek north to face a side sitting top of the League Two table after losing just one of their last 10 matches.

The Blues, meanwhile, are just one place and three points above the drop zone with only eight games of the season remaining following a home defeat to York on Saturday.

Pompey have faced six of the top seven sides in recent weeks and Richie Barker admits it has been tough.

The Blues boss said: I’m not going to disrespect the teams we’ve got coming up because there are no easy games, but we’ve played all the sides going for promotion.

“There is a lot of travelling coming up and there was a fantastic work ethic from the players on Saturday, despite playing nearly half the game with 10 men.

“That means we’ll go into the Rochdale game having probably used more energy than we would have wanted to.

“But as soon as one game finishes you have to look ahead to the next one as quickly as possible.

“We’re well aware of where we are in the table, although I’m not one for looking at other teams’ fixtures.

“We can’t control how many points other sides get, but we know what we need to do.”

Barker also revealed that Marcos Painter is suffering with a knee injury that will see him miss the rest of the season.

He said: “It’s something that’s been bugging him for quite a while and when he had it checked out it was worse than we were hoping.”

Romain Padovani (calf), Andy Barcham (thigh), Simon Ferry (back) and Danny East (ankle) also miss out, while Ben Chorley starts a four-match ban following his red card against York.

Pompey are 18/5 with Sky Bet to beat Rochdale. Open an account at for great offers and to earn money for the club.

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