Baker delight as united Blues demonstrate team togetherness in victory

Carl Baker. Picture: Joe Pepler
Carl Baker. Picture: Joe Pepler
Plymouth Argyle's Remi Matthews. Picture: PA Images

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Unity – evident in the team performance, apparent in the collective goal celebration.

For Carl Baker, Pompey’s victory at Grimsby demonstrated an impressive squad spirit and a togetherness unbroken.

What happened at half-time is part and parcel of the game, these things happen

Carl Baker

That half-time brawl and subsequent defeat against Stevenage had cast a cloud over the training ground in the subsequent fortnight.

Yet Michael Doyle and Christian Burgess retained their starting spots for Saturday’s trip to Blundell Park.

They were part of a side which produced an impressive opening 45 minutes before substitute Kal Naismith entered from the bench to net a late winner.

Delight for Paul Cook as his team responded magnificently to past issues.

And for Baker, irrefutable proof there are no player divisions at Pompey.

He said: ‘You could see from the way we celebrated the goal, even with all the subs running onto the pitch, how much that meant to us and the importance of that result.

‘People may look at it and think that reaction was over the top, but what they have to realise we had just scored a great late goal and earned three points, so emotions were running high.

‘I am sure if either Michael or Christian had scored they would have been happy for each other, it’s all about the team, it’s not about individuals.

‘In the dressing room after the game all the lads were buzzing.

‘We wanted to put it right after the Stevenage game because we know that wasn’t acceptable.

‘I think the players left Fratton Park not only disappointed in the result but their personal performances.

‘What happened at half-time is part and parcel of the game, these things happen.

‘It has probably happened at every club I have played for, sometimes it comes out of the dressing room, sometimes it doesn’t, but they are two passionate lads who want to win football.

‘It was not meant as anything personal, it could have been any two lads out of all of the squad, it’s just passion running high and wanting to do well.

‘The lads were sat next to each other and it was sorted two minutes after, they shook hands and got on with it and it was done, there was no after trouble or anything like that.

‘They made up, realised it was a heat of the moment type of thing and that was it really.

‘From that performance out there at Grimsby you could see everyone is together, there is no division in this squad and we are determined to do well.’

Pompey are now six matches unbeaten on their travels.

And Baker believes they fully deserved their latest win.

He added: ‘The performance of the lads was exceptional, not just with the ball but without it, we were organised and looked liked a proper outfit.

‘When they were attacking, we had men behind the ball and a solid shape, while going forward it felt we had bodies up there and in the box.

‘Having no game for two weeks allowed us the chance to get onto the training pitch and work on a few things and at Grimsby we achieved a great result.’