Pompey boss praises ‘brave’ Holmes return

Ricky Holmes returned from the head injury he suffered at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ricky Holmes returned from the head injury he suffered at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

They were 12 minutes for Ricky Holmes to negotiate – long enough for Richie Barker to be convinced of the winger’s bravery.

The 26-year-old marked his return to Pompey action on Tuesday night at Adams Park following a head injury.

Sustained at Southend on New Year’s Day, he had been kept away from first-team action for more than three weeks.

But he was back to enter as a substitute against Wycombe and help secure Barker a crucial 1-0 victory.

A comeback to not only buoy the Fratton faithful but also the clearly impressed watching Pompey boss.

Barker said: ‘Ricky gave us this energy and enthusiasm which has been locked up for a month really because of his problem.

‘He was extremely brave for the header he went into in the middle of the park late on.

‘He would be forgiven to not be too confident to go and do that after what he has been through.

‘While he has been out he has seen Wes (Fogden) come in and do okay and seen Jed do quite well.

‘It has been frustrating for him – but we always knew what he had.

‘He was fantastic before he got injured, it came at a bad time for him.

‘But he has been desperate to get back in, worked hard and, although not fully match-fit yet, his attitude when he came on was excellent.

‘If I didn’t have Ricky on the bench, Jed would have gone on.

‘But there was no point putting somebody at risk when we had somebody else who could do an equally good job.’

Holmes has played 26 times and scored twice since arriving as a free agent from Barnet.

Before his injury he had appeared in Barker’s opening five matches as manager, starting four of them.

n Pompey kitman Kev McCormack has appealed for the return of his wallet.

The club stalwart misplaced the wallet on Friday, January 24, around 9am while getting ready to board the team coach to Morecambe.

He believes it could have been mislaid either in the Fratton end car park or Goldsmith Avenue’s Tesco Express.

If you can help contact the club on (023) 9273