Barton: Coventry pal Baker is a prized Pompey recruit

Adam Barton's in-the-know girlfriend provided him with the exclusive inside track.

Wednesday, 29th June 2016, 10:00 am
Carl Baker joined the rest of the Pompey squad as they reported back for pre-season training yesterday Picture: Ian Hargreaves

And the versatile performer is delighted to be reunited with highly-regarded ex-Coventry team-mate Carl Baker.

The duo are sharing the same changing room once more following the midfielder’s summer move from MK Dons.

They previously lined up alongside each other at the Ricoh Arena for two years, before Baker departed in September 2014.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Yet Barton’s girlfriend, Amelia, has continued to remain in touch with Baker’s wife, Lynsey.

Some friendly faces then to help the Scouser settle on the south coast having signed a two-year deal.

Although, Barton’s other half was considerably more well-informed when it came to the progression of Pompey’s pursuit.

He said: ‘My girlfriend, Amelia, is still in touch with Carl’s wife and I found out from her!

‘His wife had rung to say Carl was down doing his medical and Amelia later told me he was joining me at Portsmouth – that was well before it came out anywhere.

‘When I found out my initial response was “What a great signing that is for us”. To be quite honest, I was actually surprised he was prepared to drop down a league to come to us.

‘With some of the defenders we saw in the league last season, he should be dominating most games and will be a key player.

‘Carl can bring an end product. We have the flair in the team but what he does really well is produce something at the end of it.

‘He doesn’t mess about on the wing, he doesn’t like to come back and take somebody else on, he either gets the ball into the box or pulls off a shot.

‘Defensively, he also does very well.

‘Although Carl has played in this league before, he was in the Championship last season and at times will make this level look easy.

‘I know him well, it’s good to have him around the place. At least he knows somebody at his new club and, hopefully, I can help him settle a bit quicker.’

Baker met his new Pompey team-mates at Hilsea yesterday as pre-season kicked off under Paul Cook.

Skipper Michael Doyle is another former Sky Blues playing colleague, while Gary Roberts also knows the 33-year-old.

The midfielder made 182 appearances for Coventry, scoring 28 times, becoming a firm fans’ favourite.

And Barton is expecting Baker to replicate that impact.

He added: ‘Carl signed for Coventry from Stockport. It was a big step, but once he got used to it came into his own.

‘He was captain during the second season I was there and is a hard worker, I’d put him down as one of the best trainers I have ever trained with.

‘A lot of people were very surprised when he left Coventry, we really couldn’t understand why. If you want to succeed you have to keep your best players.

‘Coventry weren’t doing that at the time – but he got his move to MK Dons and was very successful there as well.’