Portsmouth sacking Barker is crazy, says Justin Edinburgh
NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh has branded Portsmouth’s decision to sack Richie Barker as ‘crazy’ and says he has no interest in succeeding him on the South Coast.
County host relegation-threatened Pompey at Rodney Parade tomorrow when Academy boss Andy Awford will be in charge of the visitors.
Barker only landed the Portsmouth job in December after the Exiles had denied the club permission to speak to their preferred candidate Edinburgh.
His first game in charge at Fratton Park was a 2-0 home defeat to County on December 14 when Mike Flynn scored both goals.
And after 20 games Barker was dismissed yesterday with the 2008 FA Cup winners just two points above the drop zone in League Two.
But Edinburgh is not sure that the South Coast giants have made the right decision.
“Looking from the outside in I find the decision a strange one,” said the Exiles boss.
“It’s crazy really but, being in football as long as I have now and the way it’s going, it shouldn’t surprise me.”
Edinburgh finished his professional playing career with Pompey and is sad to see his former club in such a perilous position but he wants to pile on the pain tomorrow.
“They’re obviously looking at a third straight relegation but we can’t afford any sentimentality,” he said.
“I take no joy in it but we want a win because it’s been a little while since we won at Rodney Parade and we’re not used to that.
“It is very sad though; a club that size going into non-league football would be a travesty.
“In 2008 they were winning the FA Cup so it just shows you how quickly you can fall from grace.
“It shows to anyone that if you continue to spend beyond your means then sooner or later it will catch up with you,” he added.
“I’ve seen a club I managed go out of business in Rushden & Diamonds and that’s why I’m very conscious of doing things right here.
“We’ve got a wealthy chairman but I don’t feel that you can ever rely on one man.
“We have to be stable and whoever comes after me has good foundations for this club to continue to grow.”
And Edinburgh is very much focused on his future with County, insisting that he will not be among the candidates to replace Barker.
“If I did go it certainly wouldn’t be now,” he said. “People would be leading me away in a white jacket if I said I was going to go anywhere.
“There’s an enormous amount of work to be done here.
“In two and a half years there’s seen unbelievable strides made on and off the pitch here and we want to continue that progression.”
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