Barker blasts lack of quality

Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler

Richie Barker denied the system is to blame for Pompey’s goalscoring problems and blasted: We don’t have enough quality here.

The Blues boss hit back at suggestions the 4-4-2 formation employed against Burton Albion last night was at the root of the problem, after his side were booed off following a third successive 0-0 draw.

Pompey have now scored just four goals in nine home games since Barker’s arrival in December.

Patrick Agyemang struck the inside of the post against Burton, but keeper Robert Lainton was barely tested all evening.

While some believe the 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 formation which worked well at Chesterfield could be the answer, Barker angrily. hit back.

Asked if the system might be a reason, he replied: ‘We are playing 4-4-2 with two strikers and two wingers. Why is the system not right?

‘When I played 4-3-3, people moaned about that.

‘So if the system isn’t right, you tell me.

‘It’s nothing to do with the system.

‘We played with two wide players who have the opportunity to create chances and two strikers to score goals.

‘I don’t see any different to what they did.

‘Quality is the issue. I have watched every goal in League Two over the past few weeks.

‘I see people individually creating chances, individually creating goals and individually scoring goals. I don’t see that here.

‘People thought goalscoring wasn’t an issue when I came in – it was.

‘I think the strikers had 12 goals between them in 28 games and that isn’t enough. It’s continued to be the same.’

Barker has totally revamped Pompey’s attack since his appointment.

He’s allowed David Connolly and Ryan Bird to leave on loan, and recruited three new strikers in Ryan Taylor, Jake Jervis and Michael Drennan.

The manager now appears to be losing faith in the group of players he has at his disposal, although still believes the Blues will avoid relegation from League Two.

He said: ‘I’m still working out where we are going to go next season in terms of how we are going to get promoted.

‘I’m finding out a lot about players on a daily basis – some good and some bad.

‘I’d have to say there is a long way to go and a lot of changes to be made.

‘When you see certain aspects of the game, it could be fewer and fewer of these players here next season.

‘We will keep working hard to do the right things.

‘By hook or by crook, we will get to where we want to get to.

‘But we will need a good summer in terms of what we need to do at this club to put it right.

‘There are 13 players out of contract in the summer.

‘And if they want to continue playing here at this club, every game they go out there is a job interview.’