Awford: I’m under pressure

Nigel Atangana and Danny Hollands are dejected at the final whistle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nigel Atangana and Danny Hollands are dejected at the final whistle. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Andy Awford held his hands up and admitted: My job is under pressure.

The Pompey boss is facing mounting criticism following the club’s disastrous FA Cup elimination at Aldershot Town last night.

Mark Molesley grabbed the only goal as the Shots became the first non-league side to dump the Blues out of the competition they won in 2008.

A dreadful second-half display underpinned the defeat as Andy Scott’s Vanarama Conference Premier outfit fully deserved to go through to the second round.

Inevitably, more criticism is now being delivered in Awford’s direction during what has developed into a deeply-disappointing League Two campaign.

And after the Recreation Ground defeat, the Pompey boss was candid over the increased level of flak.

He said: ‘I will get criticism now and rightly so, I’m the leader of the pack.

‘I have made mistakes, I am making mistakes all the time like everybody does when they go to work.

‘Of course I get criticised and there is pressure in every job you do and my job is under pressure.

‘If you keep losing, if you don’t climb the table, you are under pressure.

‘We are out of all the cups now.

‘What an opportunity we had to get through – with another home draw.

‘There are still plenty of games left to sort it out and I will be doing my absolute best to sort it out.

‘But if we don’t get results – like we aren’t at the moment – then of course I am going to get criticism, it’s part of the job.

‘That comes with the territory, I knew that when I took the job.

‘I could have turned it down and stayed in the Academy because I am in the Academy producing players, doing what I am doing. That is comfortable, isn’t it.

‘That isn’t me. I am proud and privileged to be manager of this football club and give my absolute everything, I do.

‘If I make mistakes they are honest mistakes and I have made plenty but we, as a team of people, have got to be a lot better than that – and last night wasn’t good enough.’

Awford spent more than half-an-hour with the players in the dressing room after the Recreation Ground defeat.

And he was under no illusions Aldershot fully warranted their victory.

He added: ‘The first half was fine. It was good. But for that second-half performance we didn’t deserve to progress to the next round of the FA Cup and Aldershot did, so fair play to them.

‘They got more belief as the game went on because we weren’t very good, they had more of the ball and they had more play in our final third.

‘Apart from Nigel (Atangana) going through at the death, which was from a mistake and he should have scored, I don’t remember too much down that end in the second half.’