ANDY AWFORD has backed Michael Drennan to hit the ground running after re-signing the Aston Villa striker on a one-month youth loan.
The Pompey boss watched the Republic of Ireland under-21 international score twice for Villa’s development team in a 3-2 loss to Derby on Monday.
And an approving Awford moved swiftly to complete a deal to bring the 20-year-old back to Fratton Park for a second spell on Tuesday.
The former Blues loanee made an impression in a 10-game stay on the south coast in the second half of last season – netting three times to help stave off the threat of relegation from the Football League.
And the attacking threat, who can also play in behind the front man or on either wing, is a player Awford believes can add to his side’s plethora of strike options.
Craig Westcarr, Ryan Taylor, Miles Storey and Patrick Agyemang have all led the line for Pompey at varying times this season.
And Drennan, who is in contention for tomorrow’s trip to Hartlepool, has been tipped by the Blues manager to compliment that quartet and pick up where he left off last time around.
Awford said: ‘I’m really pleased Michael has agreed to come back.
‘The bit that attracted me is that there shouldn’t be a settling in period – we know him and he knows us.
‘That’s not just me but the football club, the fans and the players – everything about it.
‘He is not walking into a strange dressing room.
‘He knows what it is about and what goes on in our dressing room.
‘I am hoping he can settle straight in and start banging the goals in as quick as possible.’
Drennan bagged a memorable brace in an impressive 4-1 victory at Dagenham & Redbridge to aid Awford’s side’s survival bid last term.
And the Pompey boss was quick to make his move for the exciting youngster after witnessing him net another double for Villa’s development side.
‘I went and watched him Monday and spoke to him on Monday night,’ added Awford.
‘Once I had spoken to him and he said he wanted to come, then it was a case of us trying to make it happen.
‘It happened very quickly in the end on Tuesday, so we are very pleased.
‘We are also really grateful to Aston Villa for sorting the paperwork out their end.’