Holmes calls for crisis talks

Ricky Holmes. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ricky Holmes. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ricky Holmes has called a crisis player meeting in a bid to save Pompey from the drop.

The Blues winger believes emergency talks are needed with the club’s place in the Football League at stake.

Pompey are in a perilous position in League Two with seven games remaining, as just two points and one place separates them from the drop zone.

That saw pressure intensify on Richie Barker last night, with his job as manager in the balance.

A meeting with chairman Iain McInnes and chief executive Mark Catlin saw his future discussed – with further talks planned for today.

Holmes has called on his team-mates to come together today for no-holds-barred discussions, as the mood around the club reaches fever pitch.

The 26-year-old is demanding his team-mates show character and will engineer talks so that is laid on the line.

Holmes said: ‘Maybe it will take one of the senior players like myself to sit down with the players.

‘We have to realise what a chance we have at this club and what it’s going to take to turn things around.

‘I’ve been in relegation battles and it takes character to turn it around.

‘It’s maybe up to us as players to stand up and say that.

‘I’m one of the characters in the dressing room and I’d like to think I’m respected by the players.

‘Maybe it will take us to sit down today, really drill each other about this and get things right out there in the open.

‘The manager is doing it and we are all listening to that.

‘But maybe it will take one of us to get us together and get it sorted.’

Pompey saw AFC Wimbledon’s late equaliser against Northampton provide a last-ditch boost on Tuesday night. If Sammy Moore’s goal had not gone in, it would have been just goals scored keeping Barker’s side out of the bottom two.

With the exception of the league table after the 4-1 opening day loss to Oxford, that adds up to Pompey being in their lowest post-war league position.

Holmes warned that late fortune at Sixfields won’t last for Pompey, however.

The former Barnet man has been involved in League Two relegation scraps 

Holmes is finding the table tough viewing at present but he feels there are winnable fixtures on the horizon.

He underlined it’s in his team’s hands to turn things around.

Holmes said: ‘Results are going our way but that won’t keep happening.

‘I’ve seen it before. Teams will pick up wins.

‘We need to speak up and turn it around.

‘We’ve got a two-point advantage and we need to keep matching results.

‘At the moment we are not doing that and we are being clawed in.

‘It’s hard to look at the table at the moment.

‘It’s nerve-wracking times for us.

‘I look at the winnable games and we are playing teams around us.

‘It’s still in our hands to turn it around.

‘It’s down to us to get out of it, or not, and at the minute we are not doing it.

‘We need to show some character, turn the corner and get ourselves out of the mess we are in.’