Awford keen to strike balance

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford has revealed he allowed himself a small celebration after securing Pompey’s safety as he bids to avoid the pitfalls of managerial burnout.

Ahead of today’s trip to Bury, the caretaker Blues boss has barely been able to take a step back and reflect upon leading the club to five straight wins since assuming command from Richie Barker.

But with the threat of relegation officially seen off, Awford admitted he’d allowed himself to toast the group’s achievement.

Awford said: ‘I had a drink on Monday night.

‘I allowed myself a nice drink with my wife and that was lovely.

‘That was probably the only time I had sat and thought about it all.

‘We’d had the two games in three days and I gave the players the day off on the Tuesday.

‘I knew I would not be getting up early so if I had a slight headache, it didn’t matter.

‘I reflected on what we’d achieved as a group of people and it was great.

‘I looked at the league table when I took over and it was worrying. That’s where we were.

‘So to get to 13th in five games has been some achievement by the group.’

Awford is almost certain to be officially installed as the club’s next permanent manager over the coming days.

But he has also outlined how he is attempting to maintain the right balance away from his work commitments to avoid the stress that can come with an all-consuming job.

He said: ‘As soon as one game finishes, the scouting report comes in and the DVD comes in, so you don’t really have much time to reflect on anything.

‘One thing I have learnt is that it’s really important that you make time for yourself, otherwise you go potty.

‘I’ve spoken to past managers and friends in the game and they told me that you need to do that or you would push yourself over the edge.

‘I suppose it’s like anybody in any walk of life really.

‘People in business or whatever they do – even the postman can’t deliver letters every single hour that there is because he would blow himself out. It’s no different to what we do.

‘You’ve got to make your own time and make sure you get the work/life balance spot on.

‘I’ve been focused and there hasn’t been any let up.

‘There won’t be until the time is right.’

Awford, however, knows that any notion of a long summer break away from football is already unlikely.

He said: ‘Whoever the manager is, there is no let up.

‘I will make sure we go away in the summer for a short holiday at some point.

‘But after the final game on May 3, you are involved with planning pre-season and it’s “off we go again”.

‘That’s the way it is.’