Fans may have to wait for Awford

Nick Awford was on the bench for the game against Stevenage
Nick Awford was on the bench for the game against Stevenage

Guy Whittingham has admitted Pompey fans may not witness Nick Awford in action this season.

But the caretaker boss insisted he would have no qualms calling upon the latest Academy product if required.

The teenage midfielder was on the bench against Stevenage on Saturday, having been called into the squad for the first time.

The Horndean youngster had previously accompanied the side to Preston and has regularly trained with Whittingham’s squad in recent weeks.

Awford has followed Jed Wallace, Dan Butler and Jack Maloney into the senior set-up this season.

Fellow second-year scholar, Adam Webster, and Ashley Harris were already there.

Time is running out for Awford to make his Pompey bow this term, with only three matches remaining.

Whittingham, though, is confident the youngster would not let him down if thrown into the action.

He said: ‘You have got chances to bring young kids through and put them on the bench and give them a taste. Nick was the next one in line.

‘He’s a hard-working central-midfield player who sits there and has a good range of passing.

‘While he has been training with us, he’s played for the Academy as well so we have got to keep him having games.

‘I don’t know if he will play this season, who knows the situation.

‘At the moment, probably not, but who knows – in 10 days time we might have a few injuries and we might have to. We’ll see.

‘But I won’t have any qualms, like I did putting Jack (Maloney) on.

‘They can go out there and we can see what they can do.’

Maloney, who is the same age group as Awford, has now made seven appearances this season.

Although he made way for Liam Walker in the starting line-up against Stevenage at Fratton Park.

Whittingham added: ‘Walker gives us a bit more defensively, makes us a bit more solid.

‘Jack played the other week and we have gone through the video and there’s a couple of times where you want him to learn the defensive side of things.

‘I just felt Liam would be more used to that side of things. But, in the end, we needed a bit more on the ball to go forward and Jack came on.’