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Barker: There's Still Work To Do

6 March 2014

Boss not getting carried away by recent form

Pompey impressed in a goalless draw at league leaders Chesterfield on Monday night.

But Richie Barker does not want his side to rest on their laurels.

The Blues are still only seven points clear of the League Two drop zone ahead of Saturday’s clash with Cheltenham at Fratton Park.

And Barker has challenged the Pompey squad to show that they can perform on a consistent basis.

The Blues boss said: “We’ve not really talked about the last match and have to move on very quickly because we’re not getting carried away.

“There has been a shift in mentality, but it has to be week in, week out.

“We thought we had that a couple of weeks ago, but then obviously had a bit of a step back.

“I said back then that the Scunthorpe game could be a wake-up call for us and it was clearly was because we’ve had two clean sheets since.

“So things have changed, but I won’t be happy until we’ve changed the mentality completely.”

Cheltenham have reached the play-offs in each of the last two seasons, but Mark Yates’ side currently sit 13th in League Two – just two points above Pompey.

Barker said: “They’re up and down – a bit like we are – but certainly aren’t a team that we should be taking lightly.

“We know what their strengths are and know that they can be a match for anyone on their day.

“I know Mark very well. We’ve been doing our pro licence together for the last 18 months. He’s an enthusiastic person who’s done a good job with what he’s got available.”

Daniel Alfei and Michael Drennan are available for selection after missing the Chesterfield match because of international commitments, while Ryan Taylor is back in training following a groin injury.

Barker said: “That’s probably why we’ve seen an improvement in recent weeks – there’s now competition for places and one or two people are looking over their shoulder.”

Pompey are 6/4 with Sky Bet to beat Cheltenham. Open an account at www.skybet.com/pompey for great offers and to earn money for the club.

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