Ex-Stags star Barker expected to join Charlton

Former Mansfield Town legend Ritchie Barker is expected to be unveiled as the new assistant manager at Charlton Athletic this week.

Monday, 28th November 2016, 10:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 6:34 pm

The 41-year-old former striker was among the names briefly being banded about by Stags fans last week as a possible replacement for Adam Murray before the appointment of Steve Evans.

But, having been left looking after the MK Dons as caretaker manager for seven games following the departure of manager Karl Robinson to Charlton, it now seems likely Barker will follow him to the troubled south London club.

Barker’s first win as caretaker came on Saturday as they beat Coventry City 2-1 to leapfrog Coventry out of the drop zone.

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Ironically, MK Dons are due to visit Charlton on Saturday in the FA Cup second round, which could see Barker switching dig-outs.

After the Coventry win, he said: “It would be a little bit strange. We’ll see, a week is a long time in football.

“It has been a great five weeks, the lads have been fantastic. And if it is my last game, it’s nice to sign off with three points.”

Karl Robinson, who led Milton Keynes Dons to automatic promotion to the Sky Bet Championship 18 months ago, has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at The Valley and takes full charge today.

Barker signed for Stags on a free transfer from Rotherham United in November 2004 and soon became a terrace favourite, hitting 10 goals in his first season at the club.

In the summer of 2005 he was named team captain and ended the season top scorer with a career-best 23 goals.

Barker then signed a contract extension which tied him with the club until the end of the 2008/09 season, in January 2007 he was reluctantly transferred to Hartlepool United during the January transfer window, angering Stags fans.

He has since gone on to manage Bury, Crawley Town, and Portsmouth.