Awfs: Time to finally show form

Matt Tubbs celebrates his goal against Hartlepool. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Tubbs celebrates his goal against Hartlepool. Picture: Joe Pepler

ANDY AWFORD challenged Pompey to finally inject impetus into their season after burying their barren run.

Awford’s side ended their nine-game winless spell with a 1-0 success over Hartlepool on Saturday.

That put some breathing space between the Blues and the League Two relegation zone, as they sit five points clear in 16th place.

Matt Tubbs’ first goal for Pompey made the difference to ease the pressure on Awford.

Now the test is to put back-to-back victories together for the first time since August as the Blues go to Dagenham and Redbridge tomorrow.

The Pools win sparks a busy period of eight games across four weeks against sides outside of the promotion picture.

After a succession of false starts, the test for Pompey now is to string a run of results together.

Awford said: ‘We want to reignite the season.

‘Hopefully we can use this result to do that.

‘But it’s one game and we’ve been here before. I remember saying something similar after the Morecambe game.

‘It hasn’t quite happened.

‘So we won’t go overboard but we have an opportunity with the games coming up in February.

‘We have the chance, with playing teams around us, to get points on the board and start climbing the table.

‘Then, at the end of the season, it takes us where it takes us.

‘It’s a relief to win, of course it is, because we haven’t won in nine.

‘When you are playing the bottom team everyone expects you to win. So it was important to do that.

‘I look at it now as two clean sheets and four points out of six.

‘We’ve got to start getting more points. It doesn’t matter who we play we have to start doing that.

‘Then where it takes us it takes us.’

The home fans had to wait until the 60th minute to see the decisive goal from Tubbs.

Awford felt there was a patience shown from fans and players alike as Pompey put the pressure on but were without a goal to show for it.

The Blues boss said: ‘The fans stayed with us.

‘It was about us staying composed and patient. Don’t panic.

‘If it was going to take to the 95th minute to score, that’s what it would’ve been.

‘We were solid as a unit and it was about remaining patient.

‘We couldn’t get fretful.

‘We had to keep doing what we do.

‘It takes conviction but the players stuck to it.

‘We’d like more goals but it was about winning the game.

‘It was important I remained calm and I wasn’t out there waving arms and screaming.

‘It was important the fans remained calm. They did that.

‘We’re all human beings.

‘But we were all calm and patient.’