Baker: Contrasting Pompey wins show promotion make-up

Carl Baker, top, celebrates with goalscorers Gary Roberts and Curtis Main during last Saturdays 3-0 win against Crawley
Carl Baker, top, celebrates with goalscorers Gary Roberts and Curtis Main during last Saturdays 3-0 win against Crawley
Brett Pitman is surrounded by a swarm of Charlton players. Picture: Joe Pepler

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For Carl Baker, it’s the yin and yang make-up of a successful promotion-winning side.

There was the glorious opening 45 minutes from a rampant Pompey as they ruthlessly dispatched Crawley 3-0.

I don’t think you will ever find a team which gets promoted and haven’t won ugly throughout the season

Carl Baker

On the flip side, late victories over Colchester and Exeter – winning ugly achieved through perspiration rather than inspiration.

The outcome of such polar opposites has been three consecutive triumphs, no goals conceded and fourth position in the League Two table.

Convincing in some, unconvincing in others, it’s a regular characterisation many self-respecting promotion hopefuls possess.

Pompey seek to make it four in a row when struggling Wycombe visit Fratton Park tomorrow.

Baker was a member of the MK Dons side which climbed out of League One on the final day of the 2014-15 campaign.

And the midfielder recognises those contrasting winning attributes which contribute towards ultimate glory.

Baker said: ‘I don’t think you will ever find a team which gets promoted and haven’t won ugly throughout the season.

‘I was promoted at MK Dons and the amount of games we won in the last minute or hadn’t played well and nicked the points was incredible.

‘You just have to do that sometimes, especially in this league when games aren’t always going to be pretty.

‘You have to roll up your sleeves and make sure you come away from places like Exeter with three points.

‘The relief and confidence that can give you when you don’t play well is fantastic – then you play as well as we did against Crawley.

‘There is a really good buzz around the place now, the fans had been anticipating that Crawley result and it was nice to give it to them to send them home happy.

‘I’m sure when they turn up tomorrow against Wycombe they will be buzzing and full of confidence, the same as the players will be. It’s good for the club to go into games with that belief, making it difficult for teams to come here.

‘As a player, you look at other teams’ results – and our rivals will see we won 3-0 at home. They will now be fearing coming here, which is what we want.’

Pompey had endured a stuttering start to their league campaign, with two points from the opening three fixtures.

Similarly, some of the Fratton faithful became twitchy over the promotion credentials of Paul Cook’s side.

The current winning streak has partly allayed such concerns – and Baker is well aware it’s form which must be maintained.

He added: ‘You lose and everyone is down and then you win a game and everything is back looking good again, heading in the right direction.

‘Even if we win tomorrow for a fourth consecutive win, we aren’t getting ahead of ourselves and just trying to keep on this run as long as possible

‘We’ve had three wins in a row now but must continue doing everything properly, living right off the pitch, eating right off the pitch and being professional.

‘If you keep putting those performances in with that formula then we can’t go wrong really.’