Goal confidence flows for Pompey striker

Pompey striker Craig Westcarr. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey striker Craig Westcarr. Picture: Joe Pepler

CRAIG WESTCARR powered Pompey to victory and promised: I’ve got confidence in front of goal.

And the Blues’ new striker hailed Andy Awford’s rotation system after last night’s 2-0 win over Northampton.

Westcarr showed Blues fans his clinical eye for finishing with the killer second strike in the success at Fratton Park.

That made it seven points from three league games as Awford’s men continued their unbeaten start to the campaign.

It also made it 11 games unbeaten for the Pompey boss in the run since he came into the manager’s job in March.

Pompey always looked comfortable against a Cobblers side, who have also been in strong form in the same period.

Westcarr returned to the side after missing out against Cambridge on Saturday.

The 29-year-old made the most of his chance with a ruthlessly-taken strike.

That arrived after Awford told the striker on Monday he was getting a chance to shine.

Westcarr responded by making it a night to savour as the former Nottingham Forest man got his first league strike for his new club.

He said: ‘It was a great moment. It was good to get the win and for me to score.

‘People keep saying they were confident in me when I went through. You have to be confident and I was, but I was just happy to see it go in and get my first goal.

‘It was a good night for me and the team.

‘The manager here has the respect of all of the players.

‘He pulled me on Friday and told me I wasn’t playing, but then he pulled me on Monday and told me I was.

‘He can pull players in and tell us what we want. That’s what a player wants. Whether it’s good or bad he is honest with us and that gets respect.

‘Everyone is fighting for everyone and the manager is getting the best out of everyone. We’re all happy.’

Awford made four changes for the Northampton game last night.

That saw Westcarr join Joe Devera, Ben Chorley and Ricky Holmes in coming into the starting 11 at the expense of Jack Whatmough, Danny Hollands, Miles Storey and Adam Webster.

It continues Awford’s approach of tinkering with his starting 11. Westcarr admitted players will want to play every game, but the results show the rotation is working.

He said: ‘If there is a time to rotate it, it’s now with all these games.

‘We’re winning so you can’t complain.

‘You want to play every game but it makes sense.

‘It will help us in the long run.

‘We might not like it if we don’t play.

‘I didn’t like it on Saturday.

‘It was a nightmare on Friday, but I was okay on Saturday.

‘You are better off stretching the squad now and giving everyone game time. It’s working.’

See Andy Awford’s post-match video here.