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Awford: Defending Was Superb

30 November 2013

Caretaker boss pleased with Hartlepool point

Five defeats, three goals scored and 13 conceded – the last quintet of games had not made pleasant reading for Pompey.

But the Blues made a mockery of their recent defensive uncertainty at Hartlepool.

An impressive rearguard display meant that Trevor Carson was not overly troubled until a fine save to deny Matty Dolan late on.

Admittedly, Pompey did not create too much at the other end, although Jed Wallace did strike the woodwork before the break.

But Andy Awford was simply satisfied to his players put up much more of a fight.

The caretaker Blues boss said: “I asked for a more resilience, more character and more of a base to work from – and they were superb.

“They stuck together and saw the game out so I’m really pleased – it was a good point.

“I did actually think that in the first half we had enough opportunities to win the game. We were better with the ball and hit the post.

“It was a long trip up on Friday, but we prepared the players properly and the defending was resolute.

“People who know me will be aware that I tell my players that if they don’t win, then they shouldn’t lose.

“I think that’s evident in our under-18 academy side, who have kept six clean sheets in their last seven matches.

“We know that we’ve put a shift in – and we need to keep that as a base for moving forward as we try to climb the table.”

The result echoed last season’s corresponding fixture, when Pompey ended a run of nine straight defeats with a goalless draw.

Awford said: “We stopped the rot – just as we did last year. I’ve been there twice now and both times it has ended 0-0, so the fans might not want to come again!”

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