Barker: More to come from strike pair

Ryan Taylor, second left, is congratulated for his winner against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday by Ricky Holmes, Marcos Painter and strike partner Jake Jervis, right Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Taylor, second left, is congratulated for his winner against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday by Ricky Holmes, Marcos Painter and strike partner Jake Jervis, right Picture: Joe Pepler
Dion Donohue has signed a two-year deal at Pompey Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey new boy’s out to continue rise

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Five games together in tandem – five goals.

The Ryan Taylor and Jake Jervis partnership has made a positive start since it was thrown together at Morecambe.

It’s just once – when the whole Pompey team drew a miserable blank in the 1-0 home loss to Torquay – that the pair have failed to fire.

After Taylor netted the winner over AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, both strikers moved on to three goals for the Blues – with the former Bristol City man grabbing his first before Jervis arrived.

And boss Richie Barker has now seen enough to suggest that an encouraging start to the new striker partnership can continue to blossom.

Barker said: ‘It is six goals between them now and that’s a decent return.

‘They have been individual goals and we would like to see a bit more link-up between them in the future.

‘But they are starting to do the right things and they will do that more and more as they play together.

‘If they can get their mentality right, they will be a handful to play against for most teams in League Two.

‘They have certainly added goals. There wasn’t enough goals in the team before they arrived.

‘It was something like 12 goals in 28 games from the strikers.

‘So to have six in six is a decent start. But I’m sure it can get better than that.’

Considering chances have been at a premium in recent weeks due to Pompey’s more defensive-minded mentality at present, the two forwards have certainly made the most of the service they have been given.

Taylor has a goals return of three in seven games, while Jervis also has three but in five starts and one substitute appearance.

Barker believes his two players possess many of the same attributes.

Barker said: ‘Between the pair of them, they tick a lot of boxes.

‘I’m pleased for the both of them because I made the decision to throw them in.

‘At the moment, they have repaid that.

‘The two things I highlighted when I came in were that we were conceding too many goals and we weren’t getting enough from the strikers.

‘They will, quite rightly, get judged on the goals they score.

‘But on top of that, the pair of them have a great work ethic.

‘Ryan does so much work that goes unnoticed and Jake has added to that.

‘We work with the strikers as a pair, but they seem to have a half-decent understanding.

‘They have both played at decent levels and they are similar sorts of players.

‘They are both a decent size, both quite athletic and both have a decent touch.

‘I am not going to get carried away just yet, though.’

Barker added one of his fruitful partnerships in his playing days came about with very little training ground work.

He recalled: ‘Sometimes it just works. I remember a partnership I had with Gary Hart at Brighton and we never really worked at it, it just worked.

‘We weren’t very similar players.

‘But sometimes you try to make those partnerships work and there is just no chemistry.

‘We haven’t really had a chance to work on Ryan and Jake as a partnership but when we do, you never know.’