Barker: Wes not a central midfield option

Wes Fogden in action for Pompey against Wycombe. Picture: Joe Pepler
Wes Fogden in action for Pompey against Wycombe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Wes Fogden has been ruled out as a central midfield starting option for Pompey.

Richie Barker employed the energetic performer in the centre for the final 17 minutes of the defeat to Torquay, coming off the bench to replace Romain Padovani.

The 25-year-old’s previous three matches came on the right-hand side of midfield.

It was Fogden who had the Blues’ first shot on target in the Gulls defeat, an effort from long range in the 86th minute.

In stoppage-time he also skied a glorious chance over the bar from inside the box.

But while Barker was satisfied with the substitute’s impact, he does not see him starting a match in that role.

He said: ‘I think Wes is better as a wide option in terms of starting matches.

‘On Saturday I felt we were in the ascendancy so wanted to get him on in the centre of midfield to push up further and get forward, with Nicky Shorey deep. We just had the idea he would play a little bit higher up the pitch and he got on the end of things as well and could have scored.

‘I know Wes has played in the middle in the past but predominantly as a three.

‘But really I see him as one of the four in our squad who can play out wide.’

Fogden found himself on the bench last weekend having started all three matches since his move from Bournemouth.

It broke up the midfield which clinched a 1-0 victory at Wycombe in the previous outing.

But Barker believed both Fogden and Andy Barcham needed a rest.

He added: ‘I felt Wes just needed a break.

‘He literally ran himself into the ground in the Wycombe game.

‘I just believed he required a break and we needed some fresh legs in there considering Torquay had been off the previous match.’