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AWFORD: A GROUP MENTALITY

19 August 2014

Boss not afraid to make changes

Some would argue that a settled side is key to a successful season.

But Andy Awford is proving that does not necessarily have to be the case.

The Blues boss has tinkered with his starting 11 in every game so far in order to deal with the hectic start to the campaign.

And Pompey remain unbeaten from four league and cup games following a 2-0 victory against Northampton.

There were four changes against the Cobblers, but goals from Jed Wallace and Craig Westcarr secured the spoils on a comfortable evening for Pompey.

Awford said: “Three points is always pleasing, but I was delighted with the manner of the result.

“We played some terrific stuff in the first half and were deservedly a couple of goals ahead at the interval.

“We were very professional in the second half, closing the game out to secure the points.

“The game plan was executed perfectly, so once again I’ve got a lot of praise for everyone.

“I left out three of the side that beat Cambridge on Saturday and the performance hasn’t dropped.

“We’re really pleased with the squad we’ve got and when I do make changes there’s no moaning and groaning because everyone buys into what we’re doing.

“We’ve created a group mentality here and have a fantastic team spirit without any bad eggs in the dressing room.”

But it is not just personnel that has been altered – Awford has switched between a 4-2-3-1 and 3-5-2 system, deploying the latter against the Cobblers.

He said: “We’ve played that way for two-and a half games now and there’s been a lot of hard graft on the training ground to make it work.

“The players executed the plan fantastically. We can run through stuff, but they have to go out and actually do it.

“We switched to a back four on Saturday and they picked up that magnificently as well.

“It’s good that we’ve got that in our locker – we’ve even got a few more systems we can play!”

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