Barker reveals Pompey survival points target

Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler
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POMPEY have been set a 52-point target for survival by manager Richie Barker.

That is the figure he believes can see the Blues emerge from a highly-congested relegation battle to remain in League Two.

To achieve that, 13 points are required from their final 13 matches of the campaign.

In Barker’s past 13 games in charge, Pompey have reaped 17 points – yet remain in danger of dropping into non-league football.

And such is the nature of League Two this season, the Blues boss thinks at least 14 clubs are fighting the threat of relegation.

Pompey currently sit in 18th spot – seven points clear of the relegation zone and 11 short of the play-offs.

It promises to be a tense season finale for more than half the division’s clubs and Barker has his sights on the magical 52-point mark.

He said: ‘If you had asked me two weeks ago I would have said 50 points would be enough. I don’t know if that’s going to be the case now.

‘I think somebody will get dragged into it who you don’t think will be.

‘The way things are going at the minute, everybody can beat everyone so nobody puts a real run together.

‘So I would say it might be slightly more than 50 needed now – it could be 52.

‘We looked briefly after the Accrington game and, while I don’t like looking at league tables afterwards, we were saying how far up you go to find somebody who is safe.

‘Taking goal difference into account, we are three points off 11th and two points off 12th.

‘So if we are three points off 11th then you can argue, really, that they are not safe because we are a win behind them.

‘For the team in 11th, with less than a third of the season to go to still be looking over their shoulder is probably unheard of.

‘There’s Scunthorpe, I haven’t seen Chesterfield yet but am expecting pretty big things from them and Fleetwood obviously had a poor result losing to Plymouth in the week.

‘If you take those away, everybody is the same in our division.’

Barker’s own record is four wins, five draws and five defeats from his 14 matches in charge.

He concedes there remains a lack of consistency which also hampers many of the Blues’ relegation rivals.

Barker added: ‘Consistency is what can get you promoted – people who do it week in, week out.

‘At the minute we are pretty much win one, draw one, lose one, that’s the way we are – not consistent.

‘We have not had back-to-back wins but we do get good reactions – but it’s not enough.

‘Plymouth got beat 4-0 by York at home the other week and then won 4-0 at Fleetwood.

‘I think that pretty much sums up the league.

‘That’s why we need consistent players. Is that technical? Not really, it is mental.’