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Club News

Awford: At Last

5 April 2014

Boss hails back-to-back victories

It is a statistic that has left a black mark over Pompey’s troubled season.

The Blues had not managed to record successive league victories since March 2013.

But they finally laid that ghost to rest by following up last week’s win at Newport with a 1-0 defeat of Hartlepool.

Adam Webster scored the only goal of the game with a close range finish after just 82 seconds.

And although Ryan Taylor saw his spot-kick saved moments later, Pompey had done enough to secure all three points.

And Andy Awford was thrilled that they were finally able to find some consistency.

The caretaker Blues boss said: “We’re delighted with the result – it’s vital for us to get back-to-back wins. We haven’t done that for a long time.

“I hadn’t mentioned that during the week because I didn’t want to put any pressure on the players.

“But they’ve got that monkey off their backs now and they were absolutely superb.

“That result will put confidence into the supporters, into the players and into the staff.

“It’s a united thing now – we’re all in this together and long may it continue.

“We’ve set ourselves a standard in the last two games and now it’s up to us to maintain that, or even better it.”

Goal hero Webster was a surprise inclusion at right-back for most, with Awford keeping his return from Aldershot a secret.

And Simon Ferry was also named in the side, having been sidelined with a back injury since mid-January.

Awford said: “I’m delighted for Adam. I think a lot of him and just felt he was the right person to play in that position.

“Danny Alfei picked up a knock in training on Thursday, so were a bit light in that area.

“We decided to recall Adam and we thank Aldershot for keeping it under their hat. We wanted to keep it under wraps so Hartlepool wouldn’t hear about it.

“He got the goal and was terrific, although understandably he tired a bit towards the end.

“Simon’s been in and out of the side with his injuries this season, but I thought he was magnificent.

“I gave him the skipper’s armband and asked him for a good performance – and that’s what he gave me.”

Awford also praised the Fratton faithful, who provided arguably the most vociferous atmosphere of the season.

He said: “It was a cauldron and that’s exactly what I asked for. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for that.

“They played their part and made it very difficult for Hartlepool – I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be playing for them out there.

“The fans and the players together earned that three points. They were both absolutely superb. The atmosphere was electric and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day.”

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