Boss happy with second half performance at Exeter
He said: “The first half wasn’t good enough. We were solid and they didn’t create too much, but we didn’t move the ball quick enough.
Awford’s words clearly had the desired effect, with the visitors suddenly looking a real threat with every attack.
But they roared out of the traps in the second half, with Jed Wallace finally firing them level.
Pompey were trailing to a close range Tom Nichols finish in their 2014/15 season curtain-raiser and had been below their best.
Andy Awford had a half-time job to do at Exeter.
“That was the message to the lads at half-time. We didn’t change shape – just asked them to move the ball into wide areas and believe in what they’re doing.
“Thankfully they listened to that, played better and got a goal – and might have got two or three more.
“We’ve created enough chances. Andy Barcham went through and there was a penalty appeal. We were camped in their half.
“Exeter were dangerous on the counter-attack, but I don’t think Paul Jones was called into action too much.
“It’s difficult on that opening day – you just want to get it out of the way and not get beaten.
Awford singled out Pompey’s goal hero for particular praise.
“But it was a lot better in the second half and that was the standard we expect from them.”
He said: “I thought Jed was excellent. It was a great ball from Nigel Atangana to send him away for the goal and he cut inside and produced a good finish. “It was good technique for the finish and I thought his performance deserved a goal.”
“He’s always practising that on the training ground – coming inside on his right foot and on to his left.