Barker: I’ll never win over Pompey critics

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Richie Barker has conceded he will never win over all of the Fratton faithful.

But Pompey’s boss is determined to become a managerial success – starting by securing League Two safety this season.

Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler

The 38-year-old received highly-vocal criticism during and after last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at high-flying Fleetwood.

A portion of fans have blasted the Blues’ progress during his 18 matches in charge, with relegation still a very real danger.

Barker can highlight that only Northampton and Bury have picked up more points among the bottom 10 over the past 10 matches.

Regardless, some supporters are yet to be convinced by the ex-Crawley manager’s credentials for the Pompey hot seat.

Defeat against in-form York tomorrow would be unthinkable for everybody associated with the club.

But Barker shrugged off current criticism and will continue to perform his job to the best of his ability.

He said: ‘If you went into management thinking you are going to please everybody and be really popular then you went into the wrong game.

‘You have to accept that sometimes you are going to make decisions which are going to upset people – it’s just part of the job.

‘To a certain extent, people will always have an opinion on the manager.

‘And unless I came in and probably won all of the games, that was always going to be their opinion.

‘Losing away at Fleetwood isn’t why people have that opinion. The way Fleetwood are going and the amount of money they’ve got I don’t think opinions were based on losing there.

‘I am never going to change those opinions.

‘Even if we win the league next year, somebody will have something to say.

‘I heard someone on a radio phone-in the other day saying “it’s about time Brendan (Rodgers) left Liverpool because I think he has lost the plot”.

‘It reignites my views that you will never please all of the people all of the time.

‘Look at Chelsea when Rafa Benitez came in – he was winning games and people didn’t want him.

‘I can accept the point about needing to play attacking football but that was never going to happen overnight.

‘Obviously, if we win games here it gives people less things to moan about – but I don’t think you will ever please everybody.’

Pompey are situated four points above the relegation zone heading into tomorrow’s visit of the Minstermen.

Precarious times – but Barker insists he has also received pats on the back from fans.

He added: ‘I have to say, I get equally as many nice messages from people appreciating the work we’ve done in terms of trying to keep us where we are.

‘Sometimes the ones that shout the loudest are the ones who are the most opinionated and have different views.’

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