Barker backs Fogden to become Fratton favourite

Wes Fogden has joined Pompey
Wes Fogden has joined Pompey

Pompey fans will take latest recruit Wes Fogden to their hearts.

That is the verdict of Richie Barker after last night snapping up the former Hawks midfielder on an 18-month deal with a year’s option.

The 25-year-old has not played a match this season, yet can expect to be in the Blues squad for this weekend’s visit of Mansfield.

An energetic and hard-working performer, Fogden also has goals to his game, netting 35 in 118 appearances while at Westleigh Park.

After moving to Bournemouth in October 2011, he scored six in 59 matches and established himself a fans’ favourite.

Similarly, Pompey’s manager is convinced the Fratton faithful will grow to love the presence of Fogden, who was released by the Cherries last week.

He said: ‘Wes was a very popular person with fans, players and staff at Bournemouth.

‘He will certainly bring us energy and a fantastic work ethic and will buy into what we are trying to create here.

‘Whatever it takes, he will do the work, whether attacking or defensively.

‘The way he is can be infectious and that’s what I’m really looking for him to bring to this club.

‘Wes has not played a lot of football recently and won’t be up to speed straight away.

‘He’s had a few problems with his groin which kept him out at the start of the season so hasn’t played much football recently.

‘Having said that, he has been training for a few weeks now so his fitness is good.

‘He had slipped out of the side at Bournemouth this season but they have come a long way and people naturally fall away.

‘Now Wes is here and I think the Pompey fans will love him.’

Fogden represents Barker’s fifth recruit of what has so far proven to be a busy transfer window.

He joins Daniel Alfei, Ryan Taylor, Jake Jervis and Nicky Shorey as the new faces in the Pompey squad.

Expiring deals for Trevor Carson, Thery Racon and Marcos Painter have been extended, while Shaun Cooper has been released.

In addition, John Sullivan has been loaned to non-league Cambridge United until the season’s end.

Barker is still keen to strengthen his revamped squad even further as he seeks to pull them clear of the relegation zone.

Although he has told Pompey fans not to expect any more arrivals before Saturday’s crucial match against Mansfield.

He added: ‘There will be nothing before the weekend, no new faces.

‘I like to concentrate on the team in the build-up to a match so there will be no-one else arriving for the time being.

‘Instead we will be focusing on the game with Mansfield and training with that in mind.’