Richie Barker sacked as Portsmouth manager

Richie Barker

Richie Barker has been sacked as Portsmouth manager after only 20 games in charge of the League Two strugglers.

Pompey won four of their matches under Barker, 38, and have dropped to only two points above the relegation zone.

Academy boss Andy Awford has been placed in temporary charge of the first team for Saturday's game against Newport County at Rodney Parade.

"We would like to thank Richie for all his work and wish him well for the future," said a club statement.

Barker met with Portsmouth chairman Iain McInnes and chief executive Mark Catlin on Wednesday night at Fratton Park and was told of his fate on Thursday.

The Pompey Supporters' Trust, which owns around 51% of the club, added the prospect of relegation from the Football League was "unacceptable".

"In the position we are in, we believe this is the right decision for the club," said PST chairman Ashley Brown.

"Ultimately football is a results business and we haven't seen the progress we'd hoped for under Richie. We also considered the view of our fans and decided, as a group, that this is the right decision."

Former Crawley manager Barker, who lost his job at the League One club in November, took over from Guy Whittingham at Fratton Park on 9 December and lost eight of his 20 games.

Awford, who was also caretaker for three games when Whittingham was sacked, has seven games to keep the club in the division and prevent a third successive relegation.

Northampton, managed by former Oxford boss Chris Wilder, are two points below Pompey in the League Two table.

Wilder, who was interviewed for the Portsmouth job before Barker was appointed, has helped the Cobblers close the gap from seven points since being appointed at the end of January.

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