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Barker Hails Fantastic Blues

4 March 2014

Boss full of praise after Chesterfield display

The Sky cameras were there to catch arguably one of Pompey’s finest performances of the season.

Chesterfield were the overwhelming favourites to collect all three points and strengthen their grip at the top of League Two.

The Blues, meanwhile, had been thrashed 5-1 at Scunthorpe in their last away fixture.

But Pompey were full of fight as they collected a valuable point at the Proact Stadium to climb up to 15th in the table.

They would have been celebrating three of them if Tommy Lee had not made fine saves to deny both Jake Jervis and Wes Fogden.

But Richie Barker was still delighted to see his players do exactly what was asked of them.

The Blues boss said: “It’s a little bit disappointing that we didn’t win because we probably had the best chances.

“But the players’ attitude and desire, as well as their willingness to put in place the game plan we’d been working on for the last few days, was fantastic.

“In terms of putting something in place and asking the players to stick to it, that performance was right up there.

“It says a lot that we perhaps should have won that game and Chesterfield are top of the table.

“The fact we defended so resolutely, but also created the chances that we did is pretty pleasing.

“We didn’t come to set up for a 0-0, but we made sure that we were difficult to beat and did a good job.

“I was speaking to Trevor Carson straight after the game and he said that he hardly touched the ball in the second half.

“That’s testimony to the people in front of him and not just the back four – everyone was responsible for the clean sheet.”

Barker was full of praise for midfield duo Fogden and Romain Padovani, who both produced tireless displays in the centre of the park.

He said: “We sat down and gave them a really specific job to do – and I must say I thought they were fantastic.

“Wes’ energy is just so contagious. He covers so much ground, but so does Romain and he was a real goal threat in the first half.

“That was important because Jake Jervis could have become isolated up front on his own.

“But I thought the two advanced midfield lads – and Toumani Diagouraga just behind them as well – were excellent.”

Barker also paid tribute to the hundreds of Pompey supporters who made the trip north to cheer on their side.

He said: “I have to give a special mention to those fans who made the trip up to watch because they could have sat home and watched it on the television.

“They were fantastic and now we have to make sure we produce a similar performance at Fratton Park on Saturday.”

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