Michael Doyle: Pompey have a new matchwinner

Pompey skipper Michael Doyle, left, has played alongside and against Carl Baker, right, during his career
Pompey skipper Michael Doyle, left, has played alongside and against Carl Baker, right, during his career
Pompey skipper Brett Pitman sports two black eyes and a broken nose today

Pitman has the nose for Pompey battle

  • Michael Doyle played alongside Carl Baker at Coventry City
  • Baker has signed a two-year deal at Fratton Park after rejecting new MK Dons offer
0
Have your say

POMPEY have recruited a ‘matchwinner’ to break down those stubborn visiting defences.

That is the verdict of Michael Doyle, who is convinced Carl Baker can provide the creativity often missing.

I am not the manager, but there were certainly games at home last season, especially against lower sides, where we couldn’t break them down. But Carl will add a lot more quality.

Michael Doyle

The pair were Coventry City team-mates for six months before Doyle departed for Sheffield United.

Baker went on to blossom at the Ricoh Arena, establishing himself as skipper and a crowd favourite.

Now they have been reunited at Fratton Park following the attacking midfielder’s arrival from MK Dons earlier this week.

And Pompey’s skipper is adamant the 33-year-old will conjure up the inspiration to slice open defensive-minded opposition.

Doyle said: ‘At Coventry you could see the potential every day. Carl probably needed to learn the game but there was no doubting his ability.

‘He ended up doing really well at Coventry and MK Dons and has fulfilled his potential.

‘I think it is a big signing for us, one who can only make us better.

‘Last year we drew a lot of games at home 0-0 and he is the type you want to stop that, he will make things happen and is a matchwinner.

‘Carl will get the ball and go at people, he will get shots off and is a confident lad, but also he will work hard for the team and is fit. He has a bit of everything.

‘I am not the manager, but there were certainly games at home last season, especially against lower sides, where we couldn’t break them down. But Carl will add a lot more quality.

‘And I don’t think playing in front of a big crowd with faze him either, I believe he will embrace it.’

Paul Cook’s 4-2-3-1 system is expected to suit Baker, who primarily operates on the right or in the hole.

He netted 10 times for MK Dons during promotion to the Championship in 2014-15 and Karl Robinson was keen to retain the former Stockport man, offering a fresh contract.

Yet Baker has now linked up at Fratton Park and Doyle insists his is an honest appraisal on the newcomer.

He added: ‘You don’t want to build up lads too much.

‘Everybody gets excited in the summer saying “He will do this, he will do that” but it is up to these lads to then produce it.

‘However, I can only say what I saw and also having played against him – and he has the creativity to go and win the game for you.

‘He can play right wing or in the hole and the way we play can work anywhere along the three.

‘Carl is the type of player who wants the ball, he won’t stand there waiting, he will go looking for it.

‘We have creative players in the likes of Kyle Bennett, that is what they do in the team.

‘The more players like that at our disposal then the more problems it will cause the opposition, so Carl’s arrival can only be great for us.’