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Friends Reunited For Barker

20 March 2014

Boss prepares to face former team-mate

They were Sheffield Wednesday team-mates in the early 1990s.

But Richie Barker and Nigel Worthington will be in opposite dug-outs when York visit Fratton Park this weekend.

The Minstermen have turned their season around after ending 2013 with only goal difference keeping them outside the relegation places.

But they are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run and have won their last four fixtures to sit just outside the play-off places.

And Barker is not surprised that former Norwich and Northern Ireland boss Worthington has led York up the table.

The Blues boss said: “I’ve known him for more than 20 years and cleaned his boots when we were both at Sheffield Wednesday.

“I’m not surprised that he’s done well there because he’s an ex-Premier League and international manager.

“He was a player who just had a love for football and he had no airs and graces, so it wouldn’t matter what league he manages in.

“York are extremely hard-working and well organised and they’ve got a settled side who have continuously done the right things.

“They’ve brought a few people in and have got a stable side. Having watched some of their games on DVD, everyone seems to know what their job is.”

Pompey were beaten 3-1 at Fleetwood last week, but have proven much more difficult to beat on their own patch.

Barker said: “We’ve lost just one of our last eight home games and conceded only two goals in that time.

“We are making Fratton Park a tougher place to come and a large part of that is down to the crowd.

“If we can continue to be tough to score against and also improve at the other end then we can climb the table.

“Our aim is to finish as high as we can and also with momentum to take into next season.”

Rhys McCabe is in line to make his debut on Saturday after arriving on loan from Sheffield Wednesday during the week.

Barker said: “He’s got experience of Championship football and was, at times, keeping good players out of the team.

“When he had the opportunity to go and play first team football he had no issues about dropping down two divisions. That’s a positive because the lad wants to play football.

“He spoke to a few people with connections to Pompey and they said he’d enjoy it down here.”

Ben Chorley could feature against York after returning to training following an Achilles injury.

Romain Padovani (calf) and Marcos Painter (knee) are both injury doubts, while Andy Barcham (thigh) and Danny East (ankle) are still sidelined.

Pompey are 7/4 with Sky Bet to beat York. Open an account at www.skybet.com/pompey for great offers and to earn money for the club.

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