Barker not making snap judgement over player futures

Richie Barker, right. Pic: Joe Pepler
Richie Barker, right. Pic: Joe Pepler
Dave Birmingham. Picture: Neil Marshall

Birmingham wins Irish friends as he eyes future title

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Richie Barker will continue to resist making snap judgements on his players as January approaches.

The opening of next month’s transfer window will enable the Blues boss to delve into the loan market.

In addition, several players’ short-term contracts are up for renewals, providing the flexibility for changes.

Inevitably fresh recruits will be brought in by Barker as he looks to revitalise the squad and make his own alterations.

In the meantime, though, he has pledged to give time to those injured or not fully fit before coming to any conclusions over their futures.

And that will allow the 25-man first-team squad a little while longer to impress the new man at the helm.

He said: ‘Are they good enough? That’s something I need to talk about in a few weeks’ time.

‘People have been injured and not fully fit, so, until we get to that point,

‘What we need to do is by January 1 be aware of how good or not so good things are. Then we can make changes.

‘It has been a few training sessions and 90 minutes so far.

‘I don’t think numbers are an issue, but I think people need to work my way.’

Pompey’s defeat to Newport County on Saturday leaves them now just four points ahead of the relegation zone.

They currently sit in 18th spot ahead of the crucial trip to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

Rovers themselves are in 22nd spot and precariously perched one point above a League Two relegation zone containing Northampton and Torquay at present.

Pompey must avoid defeat at all costs as they attempt to start climbing the table away from the pull.

Barker has drawn up a points target he has subsequently put in front of his players, a tally which inevitably was hampered by the County defeat.

He added: ‘We have a points target, which is staying in mind but, put it this way, we’re behind schedule.

‘I can only go on the past week or so, but, from what I gather, that performance (Newport) pretty much sums up the season.’