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AWFORD: LEAGUE OUR PRIORITY

29 August 2014

Boss looking forward to Newport test

But Jack Whatmough is a major doubt after limping off against Stoke with an ankle injury.

Patrick Agyemang (hamstring), Michael Poke (Achilles) and Alex Wynter (head) are all back in training following injuries.

“I know their manager Justin Edinburgh very well. He had a great career which ended here at Pompey and I’ll look forward to having a drink with him after the game.”

“Newport haven’t had the greatest of starts, but I honestly couldn’t tell you their league position because it’s irrelevant at this stage of the season.

“One thing’s for sure – it will be just as tough a game as it was at Oxford last Saturday.

“But we’ll have to match Newport’s work-rate and tempo. They’re a physical side and have pace up front with Chris Zebroski.

Awford said: “Our start has been good with three wins and a draw and we’ll be looking to extend that this weekend.

Pompey will look to maintain their unbeaten opening in League Two when they face a Newport side who have yet to taste victory this term.

“But I won’t apologise for saying that our priority is with the league – every manager would say the same because it’s your bread and butter.”

“We went to Stoke with a game-plan and looking to win the tie and we can ultimately take a lot of positives into the Newport match.

“We have a strong squad here with competition for almost every position and with the games coming thick and fast, it’s important to utilise this.

The Blues boss said: “I don’t get headaches about team selections – I just pick the one I think is going to go out and win.

Awford, however, makes no apologies for rotating his starting 11 once again.

The side that ran out at the Britannia Stadium contained a number of changes from the one that beat Oxford four days earlier.

But Andy Awford insists that the league will always be his priority as he prepares his squad to face Newport on Saturday.

Pompey suffered their first defeat of the season at Stoke in the Capital One Cup during the week.


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