Barker runs rule over Pompey backroom staff

David Connolly, left, and Alan McLoughlin Picture; Joe Pepler
David Connolly, left, and Alan McLoughlin Picture; Joe Pepler

Richie Barker has pledged evolution rather than revolution as he bids to turn Pompey around.

The new Blues boss met his staff for the first time yesterday, although did not take training.

He must now decide on his backroom options – although has insisted everyone will be given a chance.

Barker’s assistant at both Bury and Crawley was Anthony Williams – a former keeper who was recently present at Fratton Park to watch the 2-2 draw with Wycombe.

The current set-up includes assistant manager and physio Steve Allen, first-team coach Alan McLoughlin, player/coach David Connolly and strength and conditioning coach Louis Langdown.

But Barker has ruled out making immediate widespread changes.

He said: ‘We need this club to evolve. If you go in and change everything within seven days, it is not going to work.

‘It is about stamping your ideas slowly, finding out what needs to be changed and then giving them your ideas from there.

‘There’s no point coming in and throwing a big hand grenade, it’s going to take a while to change round.

‘And to be fair, the staff managed by themselves yesterday – I had a million and one things to do and they have just cracked on with it.

‘Everybody (the staff) will be given the opportunity, hopefully, and I will have an honest and positive conversation with as many people as I can and then we will see where we go from there.

‘If anybody leaves the football club then, obviously, they need replacing. But for the time being, if there are some good people here I am not in the process of getting rid of good people.

‘If there are some good people here then I won’t be changing anything. I will give them a chance.’

Williams, a former Mansfield, Wrexham and Grimsby keeper, left Crawley the same day as Barker when he was recently sacked.

The 36-year-old Welshman had joined the Reds in August 2012, having previously worked alongside him at Bury.

When asked about the prospect of Williams moving to Fratton, Barker replied: ‘Again, I need to have conversations with the people who are here first and then see where we are from there.’