Barker: Our luck will turn

Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler

Richie Barker feels his Pompey side are now due a change of luck after seeing the signs of progress.

The Blues boss leads his team to Morecambe for the vital League Two showdown tomorrow, with Pompey just two points above the relegation zone.

But Barker believes his team should be breathing far more easily after the recent run of results, which has produced one win and one defeat in the past five games.

He said: ‘I would have to say that, realistically, we should have been another three or four points better off in the past five games.

‘We conceded a goal in the last minute at Southend, we’ve hit crossbars and posts something like seven times since I came into the club.

‘So, hopefully, our luck will turn at some point. If we keep doing the right things, it will turn for us.’

With a bit more fortune in their favour, Pompey could quite easily have secured victory over Mansfield last week, following their late resurgence.

But while some Blues fans have been impressed with Barker’s approach to shoring up the defence and making the team harder to beat, others have voiced concerns that he has chalked up just one win from seven matches.

Barker, however, insists there was no quick fix to some of the problems that had set in at Fratton Park and a change of mentality was required.

He explained: ‘We dominated the game for the last half an hour last weekend and it shows that the fitness and athleticism we have been working on is getting there.

‘The belief is also getting there that the players won’t roll over and accept losing a game. That has to continue.

‘Players need to have that belief that they are harder to beat and can go on and win football matches regularly.

‘But it’s not something that happens with the flick of a switch. It’s a long process.

‘We are harder to beat and we’re looking to make that our philosophy week in, week out.

‘It’s not just turned on and turned off – it should be an expectation.

‘It needs to be for 90 minutes week in, week out. But we are getting there.’

Pompey stormed to a 3-0 home victory over Morecambe back in August under Guy Whittingham, but his successor believes that will have little influence on the return fixture.

And although The Shrimps are in ninth place in the division, Pompey can move up as many as five places in the table with a win.

‘I watched the DVD of the game back in August,’ said Barker.

‘I always watch the goals for and against the team that we are playing against.

‘But it was a long time ago. Players have changed on both teams and the pitches have definitely changed.

‘It’s up to us. And we want to get to a point where we start looking up the table rather than down.’