Baker: Pompey will open up defensive rivals

Carl Baker celebrates scoring on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.
Carl Baker celebrates scoring on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

CARL BAKER promised Pompey will break down the defensive walls they face at Fratton Park this season.

The Blues’ new attacking recruit refused to be too downbeat after a frustrating League Two curtain-raiser against Carlisle.

Paul Cook’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by the 10-man Cumbrians at Fratton Park.

Pompey carved out chance after chance, but couldn’t put away more of the 23 shots on goal they had.

Man-of-the-match Baker was at the heart of much of his side’s best attacking play and opened his goal account on his debut.

He accepted Pompey do need to be more clinical but feels a repeat of Saturday’s display will reap rewards this campaign.

Baker said: ‘It was a boxing match it would have been called off early doors.

‘It was frustrating but hopefully the fans can see the positive side and that we played really well.

‘It wasn’t through lack of trying and their keeper made a lot of saves. Great saves.

‘It felt like a matter of time until we scored, but it felt like the clock was going so fast.

‘We had 23 shots and they had two. Those stats break your heart.

‘There were loads of crosses flashing across the box. On another day it could have been four or five.

‘We do need to be more clinical, but it wasn’t like we were missing targets.

‘At Bristol City I had a few shots which were a bit wild.

‘But I can remember having three or four shots where I thought I was going to be running off celebrating.

‘Doyler (Michael Doyle) had a couple and Danny Rose has hit the post.

‘We do have to be more clinical, but I don’t think we can be too hard on ourselves on this occasion.

‘It wasn’t like we weren’t taking shots, we were just a little bit unlucky in front of goal. On another day one goes in and changes the whole complexion of the game.’

Baker was one of six Pompey players to make their debuts on Saturday.

He admitted he was surprised by the extent of Carlisle’s defensive outlook.

The 33-year-old feels Cook’s side need to have the right mindset to counteract that.

Baker said: ‘The lads did mention it was like that last season and there’s a lot of new players.

‘I didn’t actually think it would be that bad and that defensive.

‘But we need to keep working hard to deal with it.

‘We have great forward-thinking players here.

‘We can’t get frustrated. When they slow it down we need to counteract that by speeding things up ourselves.

‘It felt like the ball was off the pitch for a long time.

‘Teams are going to do it, but we need to remember the game is 90 minutes long and keep going until the end.

‘If we keep moving the ball fast and keep creating the chances we’ll get the goals we need.’