Adam Barton believes Pompey tactical switch can reap rewards

Adam Barton. Picture: Joe Pepler
Adam Barton. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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  • Barton has made seven Pompey appearances since joining from Coventry in the summer
  • The Blues have won three of their 10 Fratton Park matches in all competitions this season
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Adam Barton is convinced Pompey’s passing adjustments can add a greater cutting edge to their play.

The midfielder has found himself out of Paul Cook’s squad during the past two matches, ending a run of six successive starts.

There are only so many times you can give it to the front four when they have about three or four men on them each time, so then it comes to us to try to pick out a different sort of pass

Adam Barton

It is part of the Blues boss’ attempts to fine-tune his side as he seeks to make them a more effective attacking unit.

Encouragingly, Pompey sit third in League Two as they turn their attention to the FA Cup visit of Macclesfield Town on Saturday.

It represents the opportunity for Cook’s team to continue putting into practice work honed on the training ground to bolster their creative output.

And Barton believes the changes represent the best way forwards for the Blues.

He said: ‘At the start of the season the manager wanted the holding midfielders to play no-risk football.

‘It was about getting it to the front three and letting them create.

‘I thought I did that well but as it turned out teams sit back ridiculously, so the manager wanted the midfielders to give a bit more expression with the passing.

‘I have got to change my game a bit and work on that and hopefully go forward.

‘Before it was no-risk football and safe balls.

‘Now he thinks we can progress from that and wants us to start joining in with the attacks, which is absolutely fine and fair enough.

‘There are only so many times you can give it to the front four when they have about three or four men on them each time, so then it comes to us to try to pick out a different sort of pass.

‘It’s not necessarily about pushing up more, it is picking the right pass instead of playing to feet.

‘It is playing it into space so it opens more people up, just little things like that.

‘I respect that from the gaffer because a lot of managers wouldn’t take into consideration where you should pass the ball.

‘As long as it goes to a blue shirt some managers would be happy.

‘I am learning that a lot. I totally understand it and if I can get that into my game I will be a lot better.

‘I need to put people under pressure with my passing instead of playing too safe.

‘It won’t happen overnight or in a couple of games, it is going to take a period of time but we are working on it.’

Barton wrote his name on the scoresheet in the 4-2 reserve victory over Crawley Town on Tuesday.

And the 24-year-old insists he is fighting hard to return to the match-day set-up.

He added: ‘The gaffer has obviously explained why I am not in the team but the thing in football is your chance will come, just like that, so I am hoping it will come very soon.

‘If you let it get to you then you are not pulling your weight around the training ground.

‘Then there is only one way – and that is down.’