Pompey winger ready to show selfish streak

Carl Baker is ready to show a selfish streak to answer the call to up his goal threat.

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:45 pm
Carl Baker. Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Cook has challenged the Pompey winger to find his cutting edge once again after a barren spell in front of goal.

Cook wants to see Baker getting into the positions which saw him bag six strikes earlier in the campaign.

The 34-year-old has gone 10 games without a goal – a run he admitted is driving him to distraction.

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Now the summer arrival from MK Dons is out to do what’s needed to see the finishes flow again.

Baker said: ‘I haven’t scored for a bit now and I’m disappointed about it.

‘When you don’t score for a few games you start thinking about it.

‘I’m desperate to score a goal and, obviously, it’s not through lack of trying.

‘I haven’t had many chances lately.

‘The gaffer’s had a word with me and told me to start getting into the box and getting my shots off.

‘I haven’t really had that many shots at all or got in the positions.

‘Maybe I have to be a little bit more selfish to get myself back on the scoresheet. That’s what I want to be doing.

‘You have to keep going and one will drop for you – but it does your head in, to be fair.’

Baker feels a change in duties has contributed to the goals drying up.

It’s something the Scouser has been prepared to do for the benefit of the team.

Now is the time, however, to return to his early-season approach.

Baker said: ‘We’ve changed the way we’ve played a bit.

‘Earlier in the season we were having a lot of possession. I was finding myself on the ball a lot in the final third.

‘We’ve changed the personnel of the team and changed the style of play a bit.

‘So it’s been a bit more difficult to get on the ball in the final third and get in those areas where I feel I can score.

‘With Smudge (Michael Smith) there you’re going to be a bit more direct.

‘When we have a lot of possession in the final third it gives you a chance to move up.

‘Then you’re in the final third with the ball, so when it does go wide you’re there to get in the box.

‘It just feels lately, though, we’ve been deeper around the halfway line and gone long about 30 or 40 yards. When that happens it’s impossible to catch up and get in the box.

‘Sometimes you have to sacrifice yourself and your own ambitions for the team.

‘With the shape we’ve been playing I’ve been doing a bit more work defensively.

‘If that happens you won’t get as many opportunities.

‘It’s difficult because you want to get forward and score goals but I feel you have to do what’s best for the team.

‘If that’s tracking back and keeping your shape that’s something you have to do.

‘But the gaffer’s had a chat, so hopefully I can start getting myself in the right positions to score.’