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BAKER: ALL PART OF THE PLAN

12 November 2016

Midfielder explains tactics behind latest victory

Some fans made their frustrations known as the clock ticked down at Fratton Park.

Pompey were leading Mansfield thanks to Gary Roberts’ early penalty, but the visitors were down to nine men following red cards for Kyle Howkins and Alex Iacovitti.

Those in the stands wanted to see their side go for the jugular rather than looking to keep possession.

But that patient passing paid off as Noel Hunt opened his account for the club before Carl Baker grabbed a late brace.

And the latter explained that it was always their plan to wear the Stags down before striking.

Baker said: “It was a good performance, although it was frustrating for the fans at times after they went down to nine men.

“We just had to stay patient. The sideways and backwards passing got some criticism from the stands, but it was part of the plan to tire them out.

“I think that’s what exactly what we did and took full advantage of that by scoring three late goals – and there could have been a couple more.

“The fans are unbelievable – they just want to see us going forward and attacking. That’s what we want to do as well, but it’s not always the right thing to do.

“The game’s 90 minutes and you have to be clever. I’m sure we’d have received more stick for going gung-ho and then conceding on the counter-attack.

“Hopefully the supporters will all have gone home happy like the players, but now we’re looking for another win next week.”

Baker’s late contribution took his tally to six for the season and help improve Pompey’s goal difference to an extent that they leapfrogged Luton into fourth spot in the table.

The midfielder said: “I’m delighted because I haven’t scored for a few games and when one came back off the post in the first half I thought it wasn’t going to be my day.

“I didn’t start very well after the break and was a bit sloppy, so I was happy that the gaffer didn’t take me off!

“Thankfully, I saw that period out and just had to keep going. It was pleasing to end up with the two goals and, more importantly, the win.”

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