Barker warns there will be no ‘massive’ Pompey clear-out

Richie Barker. Picture: Joe Pepler
Richie Barker. Picture: Joe Pepler

Richie Barker has warned Pompey fans not to expect a ‘massive’ clear-out of his squad.

The Blues boss will be pushing ahead with his recruitment drive when the transfer window reopens on Wednesday.

There will be casualties, with Barker focusing on those out of contract next month as well as the seven whose existing deals expire in the summer.

Pompey’s manager is presently weighing up their futures as he seeks to create space and boost finances to bring his own players in.

There is also room within his current playing budget, with predecessor Guy Whittingham not having spent all the money at his disposal.

Regardless, Barker has acknowledged there is not too much opportunity to manoeuvre in a squad who on Thursday picked up their first win in 10 matches.

He said: ‘I will not be primarily looking at the loan market, the transfer window is open so it could be anything.

‘There will be players playing for clubs who are available on free transfers with those clubs looking to move them on, I am not blinkered to anything.

‘The squad needs to evolve, particularly if I am going to be able to play the game the way I want to play it.

‘We will have to be prepared that sometimes, unfortunately, people change.

‘But it’s never going to be a massive turnaround.

‘We have players under contract and we’ve got players who won’t or can’t go anywhere so we won’t be able to bring in many players anyway.

‘There is a little bit of manoeuvring that can be done. Obviously Dan Potts has gone back to West Ham, Trevor Carson’s loan’s up and there are a couple of players on short-term contracts.

‘There are also one or two whose are up in the summer, so they are the ones we need to make decisions on really.

‘I would expect that if some players aren’t in the team they probably should look to go elsewhere.’

Those out of contract this month are Carson, Thery Racon and injured duo Marcos Painter and Shaun Cooper.

In addition, the deals of Yassin Moutaouakil, Bondz N’Gala, Jed Wallace, Ryan Bird, Ashley Harris, Adam Webster and Phil Smith expire in the summer.

The remainder of Pompey’s squad are on deals between two and three years, restricting Barker in potential attempts to off-load.

He added: ‘Even if you have a three-year deal you shouldn’t be definitely safe, you should be still motivated to continue doing what you should be doing.

‘We want players who want to come here for the right reasons.

‘I don’t want someone who just wants to turn up to play in front of 15,000 people, I want somebody to help us get to where we want and we need the right characters.’