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Barker: Home Form Must Improve

10 March 2014

Boss wants Fratton reaction

Two games with the same scoreline have generated vastly differing reactions.

Pompey were hailed for their performance in a goalless draw at league leaders Chesterfield this time last week.

But a stalemate at home to Cheltenham five days later left fans, players and manager frustrated.

And, ahead of Tuesday night’s clash with Burton, Richie Barker knows his side have to improve their Fratton form.

The Blues boss said: “They were pretty down by the time I got into the changing room after the game on Saturday and we expect a reaction.

“A few guys at Cheltenham probably hadn’t played in front of 17,000 people. They raise their game which means we have to raise ours.

“It’s everybody’s cup final when they come here, so we have to improve even more.

“It’s something we need to consider when recruiting players – can they handle playing in front of large crowds every week?

“If they can’t then it doesn’t matter how good they might be because we’ll be wasting half our season.”

Burton sit fourth in League Two and are only two points adrift of the automatic promotion spots following Saturday’s impressive victory at Oxford.

Barker said: “They are where they are on merit and are extremely hard working and well organised.

“It’s a settled team there and they’re doing well because they do the right things on a consistent basis.”

Daniel Alfei is back in contention after missing the Cheltenham match with a hamstring injury.

But Andy Barcham (thigh), Simon Ferry (back) and Danny East (ankle) are all still sidelined.

Barker said: “Dan trained with us on Monday and we need to see how he reacts to that, but there are no fresh injuries from the weekend.”

Pompey are 19/10 with Sky Bet to beat Burton. Open an account at www.skybet.com/pompey for great offers and to earn money for the club.

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