Losing in ‘right’ way is key for when Pompey run ends

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

HE’S BEEN unbeaten since coming into the role as Pompey boss in March.

Now Andy Awford puts a 12-game competitve run without defeat on the line at Stoke.

Tonight’s Capital One Cup clash at the Britannia Stadium is undoubtedly the toughest test his team have faced since he replaced Richie Barker.

Five wins and two draws drove the Blues to safety over the last campaign’s finale.

It’s been followed by a draw and four wins so far in a positive opening to the current season.

Awford acknowledged that run will inevitably have to come to an end.

He wants to see it happen in the right way when it does.

Awford said: ‘Of course, it goes without saying, the longer that stays the better it is for everyone.

‘I know one day it’s going to end, of course. We all know that.

‘Even Arsene Wenger’s brilliant record with Arsenal’s “invicibles” had to come to an end.

‘When it happens, it happens but what we have to make sure is that when it does, we lose the right way, and don’t go under.

‘With the mentality we have in the dressing room I don’t think it will be the case.

‘I think it will be the right way, not the wrong way.’

Awford knows Pompey will need to have luck on their side if the run is to continue tonight.

And he admitted that will have to be married with Stoke having an ‘off day’ and the Blues firing on all cylinders.

Awford said: ‘We need them to have an off day and us to have a very good day. That’s what you’re hoping for.

‘We hope they don’t play to their maximum and we do.

‘There’s an obvious gulf between the clubs – they are Premier League and we are League Two.

‘We need a bit of luck and need to play well.’

Pompey have no new injury worries going into the meeting with the Potters.

Alex Wynter returned to training yesterday, after receiving a bang to the head in the first-round win over Peterborough.

Tonight’s game is probably still a little early for the defender, with Awford erring on the side of caution.

He said: ‘We’re exactly as we were.

‘Alex Wynter did some training yesterday back with the group but it’s light, so he won’t be available for Stoke.

‘He worked with the medical people and we had that assessed.

‘You can’t take a risk with a head injury. We’ve been sensible with it.’