Barker’s pride at Pompey players’ response

Michael Drennan gets stuck in on his full Pompey debut against Accrington Stanley last night
Michael Drennan gets stuck in on his full Pompey debut against Accrington Stanley last night
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Richie Barker admitted ‘pride’ in his players after they rallied triumphantly to his public criticism of them.

Jake Jervis’ 48th-minute goal gave Pompey a deserved 1-0 victory over Accrington Stanley in League Two last night.

It was a welcome reaction to Saturday’s 5-1 humiliation at Scunthorpe – which attracted some stinging words from the Blues boss.

Barker made five changes to the side that started at Glanford Park, including a full debut for new loanee striker Michael Drennan.

And he was delighted with the players’ response in the must-win fixture.

He said: ‘It was the response I asked for and the response I wanted from everybody – from all the players, all the staff, all the fans, everybody at the football club. I was happy to say what I said at the weekend and I am equally happy to come out now and praise all the players and say how proud of them I am.

‘I was pleased with the way they started both halves – which was important because we have not started very well – their desire to keep a clean sheet and their ability on Monday to take information on board for something we were trying to do.

‘Having turned up on a Monday morning it was mentally tough for everybody.

‘The perfect response was always going to be a win but the even better response, if you like, was a clean sheet and a real desire and work ethic. I think everybody saw that.’

– NEIL ALLEN