Details make the difference for Barker

Ryan Taylor netted for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Taylor netted for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Evans: Player talk has lifted Pompey form

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Richie Barker believes attention to detail is starting to pay off for Pompey.

The Blues boss felt there was little to choose between the performances in claiming the victory over AFC Wimbledon and suffering the late heartbreak that cost his side two points at Exeter last weekend.

But Barker and his coaching staff have been drumming in some of those precious snippets of information that can turn defeats and draws into victories, even when the team is not at their best.

Barker explained: ‘I think the main improvement and the difference was having slightly better concentration when the ball went dead.

‘We talk about small margins between success and failure and I think that was it.

‘We did some presentations on a few things this week and worked on a few things.

‘We’ve had a lot of chats this week and done some work on some really small details.

‘But you still need the players to go out there and put that into practice.

‘I think it paid off because those small details can win you games.

‘One of those details was to look at throw-ins.

‘We looked at how we defend them and how we use them to attack.

‘Then we had a throw-in, put in a good cross and scored the winning goal from it.

‘Ryan took his goal really well.

‘He timed his run and got a good connection.

‘But it was a great delivery and an excellent header.’

While it has not been a huge impact on results for Barker and was only his third win as Blues boss, he believes the team are taking positive steps in the right direction.

He said: ‘We have now kept five clean sheets in 10 games and only lost twice in 10 games.

‘Two defeats in 10 is not bad going for a team that had the worst defensive record in League Two a couple of months ago.’

And Barker also shrugged off any suggestion that his side had enjoyed more than their fair share of luck.

He said: ‘A couple of times towards the end, it looked like the net was about to bulge but then someone threw themselves in the way of it.

‘We had our moments but you have to make your own luck at times. I thought we deserved it.’

– STEVE WILSON