ANDY AWFORD is preaching patience in his recruitment drive.
The Pompey boss is guarding against a ‘kneejerk reaction’ when it comes to assembling a squad for the new campaign.
And he is unconcerned about playing catch-up with his rivals in his hunt for additions.
Awford is currently talking to a host of targets to bolster his options.
But many of his rival managers would have been working on bringing in players before Awford was appointed as manager at the end of last season.
The 41-year-old is relaxed about that, however, and is convinced he will have the right options at his disposal come the League Two curtain raiser on August 9.
He said: ‘We’ll have a competitive squad for when the season starts. I’m confident of that.
‘How quickly things will materialise with certain players, I don’t know.
‘There are players from other clubs who weren’t here at the end of last season, who we are talking to.
‘That will continue and I’m not in a massive rush to assemble the squad. I need to be patient to ensure we get the right players.
‘We don’t need a kneejerk reaction and then end up with players who aren’t quite right.
‘We will be patient and when they happen they happen.
‘What I can say is we are currently talking to players we are allowed to talk to.’
Awford explained discussions are ongoing over deals for Jed Wallace, Bondz N’Gala, Nicky Shorey, Jack Maloney and Nick Awford.
He said: ‘We are talking to some players who were here last season.
‘I don’t think it’s difficult to work out who they are.
‘We are trying to sort out if they are remaining. We will continue to talk to them.’