ANDY AWFORD has been backed to repeat Eddie Howe’s emergence as one of football’s exciting next generation of managers.
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin feels there are clear parallels between the new Blues manager and Bournemouth boss Howe.
Howe’s success with the Cherries has him marked down as one of the game’s bright, young things.
Catlin reckons his club have someone cut from the same cloth.
He said: ‘I’ve worked with Awfs pretty much since the day I first got involved with the club. I was allowed to come in by the administrator on a kind of fact-finding mission.
‘That was for about six months and I became very close with him.
‘I see a lot of Eddie Howe in him, and that is a big compliment.
‘The players want to go out and play for him and there is respect there. He’s got the best out of them.
‘As a bloke, he is proper. He is a stand-up fella.
‘He’s never shy of giving his opinion, and I like that.
‘His man-management skills and the respect he gets from everyone he meets is second to none.
‘My relationship with him is brilliant, but I dare say we’ll have ups and downs.
‘It’s a bit of push and pull at times, but that is healthy.
‘His skill in a lot of areas is eight or nine out of 10, but his man-management is 10 out of 10.’
Catlin believes there is a steely edge to his manager which marks him out as someone not to be crossed.
He said: ‘I’ve seen Andy lose his temper, and he probably loses it worse than anyone else I’ve seen.
‘You often find that when someone is nice. They are nice 95 per cent of the time and then when they lose it, they really go.
‘You have to have that in your locker. Andy knows when to hit that button.
‘Andy will do things the right way and there is that steely side to him.
‘You have to that blow up, say your price and move on. He’s good at that. He doesn’t carry a grudge.
‘He says what he says and then moves on. We’ve had disagreements about the Academy or whatever. He says his piece – and then I do what he tells me!’