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Barker: I Can’t Fault Players

22 March 2014

Boss pleased with system switch despite York defeat

It was a change of system intended to spark new life into Pompey’s flailing season.

The switch to a diamond midfield against York, allowed Jed Wallace a roaming role behind the strikers.

But although the Blues impressed for long periods at Fratton Park, they still suffered a 1-0 defeat against the in-form Minstermen.

Michael Coulson’s early goal proved enough for the visitors and Ben Chorley’s red card just after the interval dented hopes of a comeback.

But although Richie Barker has been critical of his troops at times this season, he felt that Pompey could take credit from their latest performance.

The Blues boss said: “We had highlighted a few things that would work for us and they did most of the time.

“Jed looked like he was thriving on what we’d asked him to do and was the key player in the first 45 minutes.

“He was the most influential, the most inventive and the most creative, so it certainly worked for him and for the majority of the team.

“I can’t fault the players’ effort or their work ethic – they’ve taken a lot on board in the last few days.

“Sometimes they can come in and say it hasn’t been good enough, but I believe they deserved something from that game.

“We need to keep believing and show the same willingness going forward, but it would be nice to go a goal up because that changes the mentality.”

Chorley will now miss the next three games after being dismissed for a late challenge on Wes Fletcher.

Barker said: “I spoke to Ben and he said he genuinely went for the ball and didn’t intend to hurt their lad.

“The longer it went on I thought the ref wasn’t going to give the red card, but he did in the end.

“It was a big blow to lose him for the last 40 minutes of the game and also for the next three matches.”

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