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AWFORD: OUR BIGGEST TEST YET

18 August 2014

Boss full of praise for Northampton

Northampton looked dead and buried when Chris Wilder took charge in January.

The Cobblers were six points from safety at the foot of the League Two table, only to end the season three above the trap-door.

But Andy Awford does not believe they will be involved in a relegation scrap this season.

The signs are already good, with Northampton collecting four points from their opening two games, as well as knocking Championship side Wolves out of the Capital One Cup.

So Awford expects Pompey’s most difficult test so far when the sides clash at Fratton Park on Tuesday night.

The Blues boss said: “They’ve had a similar start to us – winning at home, drawing away and beating a higher division side in the cup.

“They gave us a tough game at their place at the end of last season and I expect them to be up there at the end of this one.

“Chris Wilder is a good friend of mind and a top manager who knows his stuff. They’ve brought in some decent players to add to the nucleus they already had.

“They’re a big strong side with pace up front and this is as tough a game as we could have in this division.

“But we’ve got strength in depth and our performances haven’t dropped when we’ve made changes.

“We’re delighted with the start we’ve made and now we’re looking to find some consistency to keep building that momentum.”

With Michael Poke currently on the sidelines, Awford has brought in veteran stopper Peter Brezovan as cover.

He said: “We’ve been looking for a goalkeeper since Michael hurt his Achilles just before the Exeter game.

“Peter’s got plenty of experience, so we’ve got good cover if anything happens to Paul Jones.

“Alex Bass is a great prospect, but it would be a massive ask for lad just out of school to have to come on in a first team game.”

Pompey are 6/5 with Sky Bet to claim all three points on Tuesday. Open an account at www.skybet.com/pompey and you could help earn the club £250,000 to spend on transfers.

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