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AWFORD: A STEP UP IN QUALITY

28 August 2014

Boss pleased with effort in Stoke cup defeat



Jonathan Walters netted early in each half before former Pompey striker Peter Crouch added a late third.

The Potters eased to a 3-0 triumph to book their place in the third round of the Capital One Cup.

But Andy Awford takes comfort from the fact that they will not come up against sides of Stoke’s calibre on a regular basis in League Two.

Pompey’s unbeaten start to the season finally came to an end at the Britannia Stadium.

But Awford was pleased with the effort produced by his young side, which included five academy graduates.

The Blues boss said: “There was plenty of endeavour – we worked hard against a very good side.

“They haven’t had the best of starts to the season, but they’re a Premier League side, so you know what you’re going to get.

“You can pick holes in all of the goals, but we certainly won’t be coming up against that level of quality every week.

“We had a game-plan to frustrate them and I wanted us to make it more difficult for them to take the lead.

“In the second half we spoke about keeping it tight for 15-20 minutes, so the second goal was a bit disappointing.
“Then we had to chase the game and the third goal they scored was probably a bit cruel on us, but the better team certainly won.
“We had a very young side on the pitch and it’s a learning experience for them, although there were also lessons to be learnt for the senior players.”

Pompey received a blow when centre-back Jack Whatmough limped off injured before half-time. 
Awford said: “He hurt his ankle and so he’s on crutches as a precaution, so we’ll know more when we have a proper look at him.


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