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AWFORD UP FOR THE CUP

11 August 2014

Boss plotting Peterborough upset

The League Cup has not been kind to the Blues in recent years.

Bournemouth, Plymouth and Barnet have all sent them crashing at the first hurdle in recent years.

The seeding system means that Pompey were always going to be handed a difficult encounter this term.

But Andy Awford is hoping his side can cause a Fratton Park upset against League One Peterborough.

The Blues boss said: “It’ll be a really tough game for us. We’ll be massive underdogs and if we can get a result then we’ll be delighted.

“We’re ready for a fierce encounter – but it’s one that we’re looking forward to.

“If we play like we did in the second half at Exeter on Saturday then I’m confident we won’t have a problem.

“We haven’t had a cup run in a while, so it would be nice to change that and hopefully we can make use of our home advantage.

“It’s the first competitive game back at Fratton Park and there’s always a special atmosphere under the lights.”

With plenty of games packed into the first few weeks of the season, Awford will have to decide whether to make any changes from the side that drew at St James Park.

He said: “We’ve got good competition for places all over the pitch and it’s giving me a few headaches.

“Once you find that winning formula then you don’t want to change things too much, but you also have to look at each player individually.

“We’ve got five games in the space of just two weeks, so we might need to use that depth in our squad to freshen things up.

“I have to pick a team that I feel can cause Peterborough problems, while also looking ahead to Saturday.”

Pompey’s League Cup woes have not just been confined to recent years, with Awford recalling one frustrating evening at Old Trafford in 1994.

He said: “I remember when we were robbed at Manchester United after being denied a stonewall penalty at the Stretford End.

“Alan McLoughlin got fouled by Paul Parker as he broke into the area, but it wasn’t given and we lost down here in the replay.”

Joe Devera (groin) and Ricky Holmes (thigh) have returned to training, although Patrick Agyemang and Danny East are still sidelined with hamstring injuries.

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