Relegation-threatened Portsmouth sack boss Barker

Richie Barker had an awful spell at Fratton Park. Photo: PA

Richie Barker has been sacked as manager of Portsmouth, Press Association Sport understands.

Pompey, the FA Cup winners in 2008, are in freefall and find themselves in serious danger of relegation from the Football League.

Former Bury and Crawley boss Barker, 38, only replaced Guy Whittingham at Fratton Park in December but has been unable to halt their slide down the table. Portsmouth have won only four of the 20 matches since he took over.

Tuesday night's 3-0 reverse at Rochdale was their third straight defeat and left Pompey, the pre-season promotion favourites, just one place and two points above the relegation zone with seven games to play.

Andy Awford, who was caretaker manager when Whittingham was sacked, is expected to take over for Saturday's trip to Newport.