Awford’s delight at double swoop

New Pompey defender Nyron Nosworthy   Picture: Colin Farmery
New Pompey defender Nyron Nosworthy Picture: Colin Farmery

Andy Awford believes he has added the ideal blend of youth and experience to his Pompey defensive ranks after his double loan swoop.

The Blues boss yesterday secured deals until the end of the season for vastly-experienced centre-back, Nyron Nosworthy and promising QPR talent, Cole Kpekawa, to cover the recent injuries.

Both Paul Robinson and Jack Whatmough look set to miss the remainder of the season with a fractured cheekbone and knee ligament damage respectively, which has left Awford light on defensive options.

At 34 years old and with more than 400 club games behind him at Gillingham, Sunderland, Sheffield United, Watford and most recently Blackpool, Nosworthy has been drafted in to help fill the void left by Robinson.

Kpekawa, meanwhile, is just 18 years old and has played only four league games in a loan spell at Colchester United this term, but can play at centre-back and at left-back or left wing-back.

And Awford insists he would have no hesitation in throwing both new recruits straight into his starting line-up in tomorrow’s League Two showdown at AFC Wimbledon.

Awford said: ‘I’m delighted to get them both and I would have no qualms about playing them at Wimbledon.

‘We will have a look at a few things but we certainly have that option.

‘Nyron brings huge experience. He has played an awful lot of games for a lot of clubs and gives us something that I felt we needed with Paul being out.

‘I’ve done my homework on him and spoke to some of his previous managers.

I’m delighted to get them both and I would have no qualms about playing them at Wimbledon

Andy Awford

‘Everyone spoke very highly of him, I’m sure he will fit in well and thanks to Blackpool for allowing us to take him.

‘We have watched Cole a number of times over the course of the season.

‘He has caught the eye in development games for QPR.

‘He is left-sided so can play left-sided centre-back, left-back or left wing-back.

‘We’ve seen him play in all three positions.

‘I spoke to Les Ferdinand and we thank them for allowing us to take him.

‘He will give us a freshness, he is energetic and will give us something we need on that side of the pitch.

‘And he has also got plenty of pace about him.’

Nosworthy perhaps looks the most likely to go straight into Awford’s side, especially up against Dons powerhouse, Adebayo Akinfenwa.

But the Blues boss is looking at a nine-game opportunity for the defender to prove his worth.

Awford said: ‘It’s not a one-game plan. Hopefully, he has a brilliant game against Akinfenwa, but it’s a nine-game plan and then we will see what happens in the summer.

‘If he does well and we like him, then there may be an option to extend further down the line but that hasn’t been discussed as yet.’