Awford ‘moves on’ from striker exit

Andy Awford admitted he played no part in the negotiations to cancel David Connolly’s contract.

The veteran striker left the club and joined AFC Wimbledon yesterday having been frozen out of the first-team picture all season by Awford.

David Connolly. Picture: Joe Pepler

David Connolly. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues boss maintains there was no personal issue with the former Republic of Ireland striker but he simply didn’t see him in his first-team plans.

And with Awford having made that decision, it made sense for all parties that the player departed to find a new challenge.

Awford said: ‘I just got a phone call to tell me it was agreed.

‘I only knew about it when it was done.

‘Every player is the same. They need to play football.

‘Dave wasn’t playing so it was mutually agreed to cancel his contract.

‘Now hopefully, for his football career, he can go and play for another club.

‘It was a football decision.

‘He trained and he was a professional – there was no problem.

‘Let’s draw a line under it and move on.’

The Pompey boss is also keen to draw a line under his side’s unfortunate defeat at Newport County last week.

And he is convinced the luck will turn if his men can hit the same levels of performance at home against a Burton Albion side who are going well in their search for promotion.

Awford said: ‘We can’t affect what happened at Newport now.

‘It’s all about what happens against Burton.

‘If there were points for performance levels, we would have taken six from the past two games.

‘We have got to believe – I do and the players all do – that if we keep playing at that level, we will pick up more points than we have been.

‘As a group, we have to keep believing and I’m sure we will get the full backing of our fans again.

‘We need to get back our winning form at home.

‘We’ve had a good record and it’s a bit of a fresh start as it’s the first home game of 2015.’

Aside from Wes Fogden, who is nearing a return to full training himself, Awford also has everyone in the squad available after being given a clean bill of health by the medical department.

He said: ‘Everybody is absolutely fine.

‘The only injury we have is Foggy (Fogden) and he is close to a return as well.

‘It’s testimony to the physios, who work tirelessly behind the scenes.

‘They have done a fantastic job in that respect.

‘Touch wood, it stays like that.’