Barker: Pompey must get recruits

Blues boss Richie Barker. Picture: Joe Pepler
Blues boss Richie Barker. Picture: Joe Pepler

Richie Barker expects to bring in his first Pompey recruit before Saturday’s clash with Accrington Stanley after the club’s injury crisis deepened.

The Blues boss saw Ricky Holmes suffer suspected concussion in the 2-1 loss at Southend, while Jed Wallace picked up an ankle injury leaving the squad staring at a serious crisis.

The potential absence of attacking widemen for the visit of James Beattie’s side compounded a stoppage-time loss, which came as a bitter blow to Pompey after a much-improved display.

And Barker admits he is becoming increasingly concerned at his squad shortage as he confirmed his interest in Bournemouth’s former Hawks midfielder Wes Fogden and closes in on an as yet unidentified young defender from a Premier League club.

Barker said: ‘We need numbers. If they carry on dropping out as they are at the moment, we probably need a team’s worth.

‘We are running out of players very quickly and lost another one in Ricky Holmes.

‘Having enough numbers is an issue so hopefully we can get at least one in before the weekend.

‘We need some help as there seems to be someone else dropping out on a daily basis at the moment.

‘Under normal circumstances, we would probably have had to take Jed (Wallace) off as well because he got a kick on his ankle.

‘So the number keeps going up and I have an idea of where I need to be.

‘We are looking at loans and free transfers.

‘We need loans to get us out of this injury issue and we need people to build a football club around over the next 18 months to two years to progress.

‘So we will be looking at both.’

Asked about Fogden, Barker replied: ‘I have heard that myself and I’m not quite sure where that has come from.

‘We are interested in a large number of people at the moment.

‘We have to make a large number of enquiries to get the right people.

‘If he (Fogden) is available, which I believe he might be, we are interested.’

Holmes was substituted after just 20 minutes of the contest.

He had to be taken off following a clash of heads with Southend defender Luke Prosser, as the winger was struggling with his vision.

Barker said: ‘He was struggling to see properly and said he could hardly see at all.

‘So we will have to see how he is and how quickly he can recover to see if he will be available for the weekend.’

The Pompey boss was left to rue the defeat, especially as his side turned in their best display of his tenure.

He said: ‘Considering the players we had missing and coming to a team in the play-offs, I was pleased with the performance.

‘If I am honest, I thought it had 1-1 written all over it.

‘So it was very cruel on the players for the amount of effort they put in.

‘But I think we are seeing improvements on a daily basis and if we keep putting in performances like that, we will win far more than we lose.’