Awford keen to solve away blues

Pompey boss Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler
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Andy Awford admits he is still looking for the answers as he attempts to solve Pompey’s travel sickness.

The Blues visit high-flying Shrewsbury tomorrow fresh from their morale-boosting 3-2 midweek success over Stevenage.

But it is the stark contrast in their form at Fratton Park and the results on the road which concerns the Pompey boss.

Awford said: ‘The home form is excellent.

‘If we repeat that over the season, we’d be pleased with that. The away form is a little bit the other way.

‘It was often the same when I was playing.

‘Believe you me, I have looked at it and I’ve studied it.

‘I’ve spoken to a lot of people, I’ve rung people who have been promoted and asked them what they did differently in terms of travelling on the Friday or what they did at the hotel before the game.

‘I’ve looked at all of that. I have left no stone unturned to try to work out what it is.

‘To be honest, I still haven’t got the answer.

‘But the away form has got to improve. We’ve got to get on the road and get some points.’

Pompey have picked up 14 points – four wins, two draws and just one defeat – on home soil this season.

But it’s just one victory at Oxford, three draws and three losses on their travels this term – culminating in just six points.

‘I keep coming back to one thing: it is 11 v 11, there are white lines, one ref and one ball and there are two goals – it’s no different,’ said 
Awford.

‘Just go and play, lads.

‘I think we’ve got to get on with it and approach it that way.

‘We played well at York and Hartlepool and should have won both of those games comfortably.

‘You can’t approach away games like we do here – you can’t recreate the atmosphere that we have here but I think we need to try to do that more.

‘The routine is different. But you can’t change the fact that we have to travel up the motorway.

‘Of course it’s different playing away from home but the reality of life is that it should not be harder.

‘We didn’t have a problem at Dagenham, Newport or Northampton last season.

‘We got to the stage where we were playing away from home and we thought: “Who cares?”.

‘We’ve got to get to that stage again.’

While Awford wants to see his side turn things around on their travels, Shrewsbury are unbeaten at home in League Two all season.

But the manager is looking for more of the same character from his troops.

He added: ‘That reaction from Bury was what we were looking for against Stevenage.

‘It wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t pretty at times but we got that win and the performance. Now we need to build on that and get another positive result.’