Awford urges wall of noise to make life ‘unbearable’ for Pools

Andy Awford has called on the Fratton faithful to make life ‘unbearable’ for Hartlepool’s players.

The Blues boss wants a wall of noise unleashed in tomorrow’s crucial clash with Colin Cooper’s side.

Pompey caretaker boss Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey caretaker boss Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler

Buoyed by victory at Newport County last weekend, supporters have been creating new banners for the occasion which represents another must-win match.

The prospect of balloons and ticker-tape have also been discussed on social media as fans attempt to crank up the atmosphere.

It’s music to the ears of Awford, who is banking on the Hartlepool side being intimidated by the welcome.

Similarly, the caretaker boss is hoping his own players can flourish within the exceptional Fratton Park support.

Awford said: ‘The fans have backed this football club in adversity since I have been around – and we’ve had plenty of adversity.

‘No other club have been through the mill like ours.

‘When people talk about Stockport, I want them to talk about Hartlepool and Bristol Rovers and Plymouth in the same vein.

‘The players need to come to the party in that respect and they will. They know what is expected of them, and if you put all that together it is almost unbearable for the other team out there.

‘That is what we have to try to create and that is what I am after. A wall of noise gives the opposition a bit of a jolt.

‘If I was the Hartlepool manager or Bristol Rovers manager or Plymouth manager, you would make your players aware of it, of course you would.

‘Their team talk will probably be “let’s quieten the crowd”.

‘It’s all those sort of clichéd things, you are trying to turn it in your favour.

‘But the crowd won’t turn tomorrow, they will be with us right until the 95th minute. And if we win after that as well, then they will come again the next game because in adversity that is what they do.

‘We need that support and I know we will get that support. We will make it electric and, hopefully, it will become an enjoyable experience for everybody.

‘Some of our players have found it difficult at Fratton Park. My job is to make them enjoy it and embrace it and go with it – as long as they embrace it they will be fine.’

Hartlepool are on a run of three successive defeats, affecting what before then appeared to be play-off aspirations.

Cooper’s side are four points ahead of the Blues, who they shared a goalless draw with at Victoria Park in November.