Baker: Pompey squad ready for fresh start

Pompey winger Carl Baker Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey winger Carl Baker Picture: Joe Pepler
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Jamal Lowe. Picture: Mark Robinson

Pompey v Blackpool: pre-match talking points

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CARL BAKER welcomed the clean slate afforded Pompey’s squad under Kenny Jackett.

And the attacking Blues talent told of the hunger among his team-mates to impress their new manager.

Baker has spoken of his contentment at Fratton Park after being linked with a move to Coventry last month.

The 34-year-old has a year left on his existing agreement after arriving from MK Dons last season.

Baker has plenty of experience at League One level and has scored goals regularly in the third tier, as well as picking up a promotion.

He has spoken to his fellow Pompey squad members in the wake of Jackett’s appointment and knows there’s anticipation at being judged anew.

Baker said: ‘The manager will know most of the players here. I’m sure he’ll be doing his research, too.

‘It will be a clean slate for everyone but I’m sure he’ll know the players.

‘Having spoken to a few of the lads who didn’t play as much last season, I know they are coming in hungry to show what they can do.

‘Everyone has to start from scratch and that’s a new opportunity for the lads who didn’t play much.

‘I love it here. I love the club, the fans, the stadium and facilities. I’m happy here and we’ve got promoted to League One, which I know well.

‘We can come back in knowing it’s a new start for everyone to impress the manager and put themselves in his thoughts.’

Baker admitted he’s spoken to friends in the game who’ve worked under Jackett before to gain an insight into how he operates. The feedback he received excited him about what lies ahead.

Baker added: I’ve never played under him but have played against a lot of his teams and know how he plays.

‘I played against Wolves and Millwall a lot. I have an idea of how he likes to set up. I’ve put the calls into lads who’ve played under him!

‘The people I’ve spoken to cannot speak highly enough of him.

‘You’d think in football today, with the stakes so high, you’d find someone who didn’t – but of the people who’ve played under him, no-one has a bad word to say.

‘That’s exciting and I’m looking forward to getting in and finding out for ourselves.

‘I know a few Millwall and Wolves lads who have played under him. I spoke to them to find out formations he likes to play and stuff like that.

‘The feedback was it was 4-4-2 mainly, but I saw him say in The News we were successful off the back of playing 4-2-3-1 last season.

‘He said if the players have been coached to play that way and understand their roles he doesn’t have to change it.

‘I’m sure he’ll want to put his own stamp on things, and with his knowledge and experience he’ll have more than one or two ways of playing.

‘I’m sure he’ll look at the players when we get back then form his own opinion of how he’ll go about things.’