Baker sees positives in Pompey shot count

Carl Baker knows Pompey need to be more clinical.

Thursday, 27th October 2016, 9:30 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:47 am
Carl Baker shows his frustration against Carlisle. Picture: Joe Pepler

But the Blues’ attacking midfielder is taking solace from the swathe of opportunities being carved out by his side.

A lack of killer instinct has been a frustrating recurring theme in recent performances.

The clash with Notts County can be added to a long line of games in which Pompey have dominated their rivals in terms of shots on goal.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Paul Cook’s side had 17 efforts to the Magpies’ five, yet fell to a 2-1 defeat on Saturday.

Baker acknowledged the shots-to-goals ratio needs to improve.

The 33-year-old feels there would be greater cause for concern, however, if Pompey weren’t carving out chances at all.

That certainly isn’t the case as they gear up for this weekend’s trip to Cambridge United.

Baker said: ‘Possibly we do need to be more clinical.

‘Maybe when we’re having so many shots and so many on target we need to be scoring more.

‘A lot of people just look at shots on target, though. They don’t see how many saves are made.

‘You could have five shots on target and the keeper could have made four world-class saves.

‘It’s not like five shots rolled back to the keeper’s hands.

‘I know we’ve missed good chances and keepers have made saves but it’s positive we’re creating the chances in the first place.

‘If you’re not creating them there’s an issue but, looking at those stats, we are creating chances and having shots on goal.

‘We are going in the right direction but maybe we need to be a bit more clinical as well.

‘When you look at Sheffield United at the moment they can’t seem to stop winning.

‘They are probably taking every chance they are getting.

‘They’re being clinical because their confidence is there and they are expecting to score.’

Last weekend’s meeting with Notts County follows on from the trip to Leyton Orient, where Pompey recorded a single-goal success despite having 17 shots to the O’s five.

Defeat to Doncaster came with 15 shots being recorded to Donny’s six.

The defeat at Morecambe in August was another example of a loss arriving after a stream of chances – 25 to six on that occasion.

Carlisle on the opening day saw 23 shots arrive to the Cumbrians’ two. Yet that game ended in a 1-1 draw as keeper Mark Gillespie had a stormer, in what was perhaps the clearest example of chances not being turned into goals.

Baker said: ‘Did the keeper get a move to Barcelona off the back of that Carlisle game? They weren’t bad shots either. He was tipping away from the top corner.

‘When I see the Football League Show and the League Two goals you see scuffers going in and keepers making mistakes.

‘Hopefully it will change, keepers won’t perform as well as they have been and things will go for us now.’