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Guy: A Pleasing Start

10 July 2013

But boss more concerned with getting his squad up to speed

Results will only become a priority for Guy Whittingham from August 3 onwards.

But the Blues boss was still impressed with a 5-0 victory over neighbours Havant & Waterlooville in the opening pre-season friendly.

A brace from triallist Ryan Bird meant Pompey were comfortably ahead at the interval.

Ryan Woodford’s own-goal and a couple of late strikes from Romain Padovani and Andy Barcham then finished the job in the second half.

Whittingham said: “Most managers will tell you that these games aren’t about results – they’re about your players getting out on the pitch again.

“But it’s a good start and a pleasing result – we haven’t conceded and we’ve scored five goals.

“Matches against local non-league sides in pre-season are always good because they raise their game against you.

“All our players came in saying what a great pitch it was to play on and we’re very grateful to the Hawks for providing that.

“One or two looked a bit rusty, but it’s the first game of the season and that’s what pre-season’s all about.”

Bird – who was a prolific scorer for non-league Burnham last term – certainly caught the eye.

It was a fortunate deflection that saw him open the scoring after just 48 seconds, but he should good awareness to divert Jed Wallace’s strike on target just before the break.

Whittingham said: “We watched Ryan last year and invited him for some pre-season training. 

“He’s got the knack of getting the ball in the goalmouth area and if you’ve got that, then you’ve got a chance.”

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