Pompey fans back Baker switch

Carl Baker. Picture: Shaun Boggust
Carl Baker. Picture: Shaun Boggust
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Pompey supporters are behind Kenny Jackett’s decision to utilise Carl Baker in the centre of midfield.

The Blues boss has played the 34-year-old alongside Danny Rose in the past two pre-season friendlies.

He was preferred to youngsters Adam May and Ben Close in the role for the clashes with Premier League Bournemouth and League Two Crawley Town.

Now the former Coventry City man, who spent much of last season on the right wing, is in line to start against Rochdale in the League One opener at Fratton Park on Saturday (3pm).

The switch came as a surprise to the Fratton faithful but most fans are confident Baker is up to the task.

On portsmouth.co.uk, Jim Norfolk said: ‘I have always thought of Carl as a top pro with an impressive range of skills.

‘I really hope he can find a slot that suits him because we need his experience. Give him a run I say.’

Tomahawk added: ‘I really rate Baker. Let us stick with him I don’t feel he will let us down. He cares too much. In other words, he’s a professional.’

Majoreyeswater echoed those sentiments, although believes May is the better prospect to play alongside Rose.

He said: ‘I think Carl Baker is a top pro and will do a job anywhere across the midfield because of his vast experience.

‘I still think that Adam May has a superior passing range, though. If they are good enough they are old enough.’

Also commenting on portsmouth.co.uk, Exgaffer was less convinced by Baker but is back Jackett to make it work.

He said: ‘I’ve never been wildly impressed by Baker. He’s got a horrible first touch and will need to improve a lot in that area.

‘But hopefully Jackett can bring the best out of him.’

Cardiff City’s Stuart O’Keefe was linked with Pompey this week as Jackett seeks to strengthen his options.

With four goals in 18 appearances on loan at MK Dons last season, he would fit the bill as a combative central midfielder.

And CopnorBlue, who emailed sport@thenews.co.uk, reckons Baker is only a stop-gap until someone like O’Keefe arrives.

He is also concerned about what Baker’s presence says about the amount of game-time Jackett will offer May and Close.

He said: ‘I can’t help thinking Carl Baker is only keeping that central midfield spot warm for someone else, like Stuart O’Keefe.

‘What I’ve found more telling in the past two friendlies is the fact Adam May and Ben Close have not featured.

‘That suggests to me they are not being considered as proper first-team material just yet. I don’t see Baker as the answer, either.’