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BARTON UP FOR THE CUP

9 August 2016

Blues star predicts more open contest

A switch from league to cup football signals a step up in the level of opposition.

But Adam Barton believes facing Coventry will suit Pompey as they try to book their place in the second round of EFL Cup.

The midfielder-turned-defender is one of several players expected to come into the side at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday evening.

And, after Carlisle set up to frustrate the Blues at the weekend, Barton is looking forward to a more expansive contest.

He said: “They put all their men behind the ball and it probably became harder when they went down to 10 men because all they wanted to do was defend.

“But some of our best performances of last season were in cup competitions and I think it helps us when we face stronger opposition.

“It becomes less of a battle and more of a passing game, which is something we’re very good at.

“I’m sure that will be the same at Coventry – they’ll come at us rather than sitting back and looking to defend.”

Barton was an unused substitute on Saturday, so is keen to be involved against a side he made 73 appearances for prior to arriving at Pompey. 

He said: “We see these games as a chance for some players to lay a marker down and we’re going out to try to win the tie.

“You don’t want to become known as a ‘cup player’ and hopefully we can show the manager that we’re a step closer to being in the team.

“I haven’t been back to Coventry since I left, so I’m excited. It’s a good pitch and a good atmosphere – so hopefully it will be a good game as well!

“Most of the players have left since my time there, but a lot of the staff are still there and it will be nice to catch up.

“The stadium and facilities are fantastic and guys are often blown away when they go there for the first time.”

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