Barker wants his side to emulate next opponents
Pompey face the most daunting prospect of their season on Monday night.
The televised trip to leaders Chesterfield sees the Blues hunting successive league victories for the first time this season.
But they face a Spireites side who are five points clear of fourth-placed Burton with just 13 games of the campaign remaining.
And Richie Barker wants Pompey to eventually reach the same levels as their next opponents.
The Blues boss said: “They’re a team who already have a League One mentality and that what’s we’re trying to create here because we don’t want it to be a shock when we get there.
“Chesterfield are one of the sides who have been consistent throughout the season and that’s why they are where they are.
“They have good players and the ability to see games through and they were 4-0 up after half an hour at Cheltenham the other night.
“Even when they’re a few goals ahead they can keep going and that’s what winners are made of. It’s going to be a tough game.
“Their manager Paul Cook worked with very little resources when he was at Accrington and now he’s got slightly more.
“What comes with that is added pressure, but you also get better players and better facilities.”
Pompey have lost just three of their last 12 games, although Barker concedes it has not always been attractive.
He said: “The entertainment bit will come in the end, but right now there’s a real desire for the players to show the fans that it does mean something to them.
“They know that the supporters want to go home knowing that they’ve given absolutely everything.”
Barker will be without both Daniel Alfei and Michael Drennan on Monday, as the duo are on under-21 duty with Wales and Republic of Ireland respectively.
Pompey are 5/1 to beat Chesterfield. Open an account at www.skybet.com/pompey for great offers and to earn money for the club.