Barker: ‘Multitude’ of problems behind Blues injuries

Andy Barcham is currently sidelined
Andy Barcham is currently sidelined

Richie Barker believes a ‘multitude’ of problems are impacting on the availability of his players.

The Blues were granted last Saturday off when a waterlogged pitch forced the visit of Accrington Stanley to be scrapped.

It comes at a time when Barker’s squad has been hit by a number of injuries, among them Simon Ferry, Andy Barcham, Shaun Cooper, Adam Webster, Dan Butler, Danny East and Josh Warren.

The Pompey manager admits the abandonment of what would have been a fourth fixture in 10 days has been beneficial on those regulars with aching bodies.

But he is convinced a number of issues continue to be behind the list of walking wounded which can currently be found at Fratton Park.

‘We are never going to have everybody fit so that match not going ahead has not made any difference,’ said Barker.

‘Having just played three games in a week and potentially a fourth in 10 days, one or two people probably needed a break.

‘That was particularly bearing in mind how much work had been put in against Southend and the conditions, there were some tired bodies.

‘But there is a general problem with injuries here – I have more players injured now than I had in my entire 18 months at Crawley.

‘I remember that three-and-a-half weeks before I left there was not one person on the treatment table.

‘I would say it is down to a multitude of problems.

‘Some of the players here have had long-standing injuries, while training on different surfaces may have affected one or two, considering their age.

‘There has also been the need to adapt to new training from me.

‘At Crawley I had 19 pros, we knew we had a small squad and worked on injury prevention and recruited athletic players.

‘That worked and it’s something I would like to implement here at Portsmouth.’

Of those currently sidelined, only Yassin Moutaouakil is definitely expected to be available for Saturday’s trip to Oxford.

East (ankle), Butler (knee) and Webster (hamstring) are among those struggling.