Baker: Reality check was catalyst for thrashing Grimsby

Carl Baker celebrates with his team-mates Gareth Evans and Danny Rose. Picture: Joe Pepler
Carl Baker celebrates with his team-mates Gareth Evans and Danny Rose. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey defender Drew Talbot Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 2-0 Rochdale: Three things we learnt

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CARL BAKER admitted the agony of Pompey’s loss against Crewe has played a major part in the Blues’ recent form.

Paul Cook’s men produced a rampant performance to beat Grimsby Town 4-0 at Fratton Park last night.

The Crewe performance hit us hard and we knew it wasn’t acceptable.

Carl Baker

Deflected goals from Kyle Bennett and Danny Rose gave Pompey the lead before Baker scored from a tight angle seconds before half-time.

Baker turned from goalscorer to provider shortly after the break. His drilled effort was parried by Grimsby goalkeeper James McKeown but Kal Naismith was first to react and slotted home to wrap the game up for hosts.

Tuesday night’s win was Pompey’s third straight success and they have scored 10 goals in that run.

The Blues started this month in the worst manner possible when they put in a lacklustre display at home to Crewe and were beaten 1-0.

They have reacted in the best manner possible and Baker said the loss added fuel to the fire in their desire to be promoted.

The 34-year-old said: ‘The Crewe performance hit us hard and we knew it wasn’t acceptable.

‘We got a bit of stick from the fans and ourselves as players went home disappointed so we needed a reaction from that and we’ve got one the last few games – we’ve been tremendous.

‘From the Crewe game we realised first and foremost we have got to put an absolute shift in.

‘At times I think we’ve thought we’ve got the squad expecting to win and we haven’t been working hard enough.

‘Since that shock result and poor performance it has given us a reality check.

‘We know we’ve got the players but we know we’ve got to be 110 per cent in people’s faces and we’ve been doing that.

‘It’s physically demanding but we’re getting the rewards for it.

‘In the dressing room the lads are so confident.’

Results fell Pompey’s way last night with Carlisle and Luton finishing a stalemate.

Stevenage were beaten away at Blackpool.

Pompey travel to Stevenage on Saturday and have the chance to tighten their grip on an automatic promotion place.

But Baker says his side aren’t getting carried away and are taking each game as it comes.

‘Within a matter of a week it can all change,’ the midfielder added.

‘We don’t want to look at the table and get too far ahead of ourselves.

‘We’re looking forward to each game as it comes now and we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. There’s still a lot of points to be played for and we need to take one game at a time.

‘We just need to concentrate on ourselves and we’re at our best when we try to win games.

‘We will go there and press high and try to win the game early on.’