Awford calls for quick decision

Andy Awford celebrates the win at Northampton with Trevor Carson. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford celebrates the win at Northampton with Trevor Carson. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford has called on Pompey to make a quick decision over his managerial future.

The Blues successfully pulled off their remarkable League Two survival act at Northampton yesterday.

Safety was achieved before kick-off when Bristol Rovers suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Rochdale.

Awford then steered Pompey to a fifth successive win under his charge with a 1-0 win over the Cobblers sparking hopes of finishing in the top 10.

It is a stunning recovery for a club which had been fearing relegation amid the departure of Richie Barker.

Pompey’s next monthly board meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

And Awford is pushing for a swift resolution over the managerial issue.

He said: ‘You will have to speak to the board because they appoint managers, not me. They know where I am and, in my opinion, now we are safe I would like to think that they will make an early appointment.

‘I am not saying do it tomorrow but certainly ASAP.

‘It would give the new manager, whether it’s me or somebody else, the opportunity to get ahead of the game a little bit and maybe plan a bit for next year and the next few years.

‘Longevity now comes into it for me. When I first took over it was all about the here and now and tomorrow will wait.

‘We have two games left which we need to sort out – and we will – but we need to now start looking at tomorrow, in my opinion.

‘We need to make sure what happened at this club before – which was a disgrace – never happens again.

‘The situation doesn’t need to be carrying on into June. I am not so sure if it needs to be done by the end of the season, that’s down to the board.

‘I am not going to put a time limit on it, all I have got to do is win two more football matches.

‘They know where I am and if they want to do something we need to talk and if they want to leave it until the end of the season, I am happy with that.’

Danny East’s sixth-minute strike settled matters against the Cobblers. He was one of eight changes Awford made.

It was a bold selection policy from the caretaker manager, although largely dictated by knocks and niggles.

Nonetheless, he’s convinced there currently exists the backbone of decent side for next season.

Awford added: ‘We have the nucleus of a squad, it’s not like when Guy had a massive job last year trying to build a football team.

‘There are other bits that also need to be sorted out, for instance if I was lucky enough to be the next manager who is going to be Academy manager?

‘If Paul Hardyman comes up with me who is going to work with the under-18s next year?

‘They are a couple of examples, there are plenty, they are the building blocks and they are the infrastructure.

‘I am not saying we have to do that all in one year, I am not saying that at all, but we have to have a plan to make sure that what happened doesn’t happen again.’