Awford: Keeping it simple pays off

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

Pompey are reaping the benefits of keeping things simple, according to Andy Awford.

The Blues boss has reverted to a 4-4-2 formation in recent weeks and has adopted a more basic playing style, which has yielded two wins in three games.

But while Awford is keen to ensure his players don’t over-complicate things, he is also keen to allow them to express themselves in the right areas.

Awford said: ‘I think the players are seeing the benefit of things being simplified.

‘As we grow and as things continue, we can start to add a few more things in.

‘It’s very simple at the minute.

‘It’s up and down the pitch, do the horrible side of the game and then play in the final third.

‘I’ve said to the lads “when we are 3-0 or 4-0 up, then you can start playing like Barcelona”.

‘But until we get to that stage, it has to be what it has to be.

‘They know that and I know that.’

There is certainly a more direct style about Pompey as they focus on getting the ball forward quickly and get more crosses into the box.

But it has not become route one.

Awford said: ‘We’ve certainly played differently.

‘We’ve been more direct and we’ve used pace up front and wide to get into those dangerous areas.

‘It’s a bit more no-nonsense, which is what this league is all about.

‘But I also think that when we get into that middle and final third, we have got quality footballers that the club have signed.

‘I like to play the game in a certain way and we certainly don’t hoof it.

‘But it’s about getting that balance right.’