RICHIE BARKER welcomed the return of cutting edge to his side as Pompey go to Wycombe tonight.
The Blues boss hailed the promising partnership between new strike pairing Ryan Taylor and Jake Jervis as they go to Adams Park.
Jervis’ two goals at Morecambe on his first start as a permanent addition highlighted his predatory instincts.
That followed Taylor’s equaliser on his home debut against Mansfield the weekend before.
Those were the first goals from Pompey strikers since Patrick Agyemang scored in the home clash with the Chairboys at the start of December.
Barker was encouraged by the understanding the new duo struck up at the Globe Arena.
He was pleased with the way they feasted on plentiful supply from wide areas.
Barker said: ‘Jake and Ryan are a real nuisance. I think they looked a real handful on Saturday.
‘Ryan’s hold-up play was excellent and their work ethic was fantastic.
‘I’m surprised Jake lasted as long as he did.
‘I don’t know the last time he played 90 minutes, but it was a long time ago.
‘In those conditions on Saturday he did extremely well to last 90 minutes.
‘We knew that David (Connolly) wasn’t going to be fit.
‘So Ryan and Jake up front was something we spent hours and hours on in training preparing for the game.
‘Our full-backs and wide men are helping them, by getting forward and putting in plenty of crosses.’
Jervis will continue up front as Pompey take on a team sitting above them on goal difference in the League Two table.
His goals may have both been close-range efforts on Saturday rather than spectacular blockbusters, but Barker is encouraged by that fact.
He said: ‘Jake gets in and around where goals are scored.
‘I don’t think we score enough goals in and around the six-yard box.
‘It’s nice to have someone who does that.
‘We’ve not swam the Channel with him just yet.
‘But it’s down to him now. He’s got the shirt and it’s up to him to keep it.
‘The stats say he scored two goals.
‘He can score all different types of goals.
‘If he goes on and proves himself at League Two the chances are he’ll end up in League One.’
– JORDAN CROSS