Boss says Blues are ready for Exeter opener
The rollercoaster is about to start up again.
Summer has provided transfer dealings – and plenty of speculation – and friendly matches.
But the season gets underway for real on Saturday when the Blues head down to Devon to face Exeter.
It kicks off nine months of nerve-shredding action as Pompey prepare for a second assault on League Two.
And Andy Awford is as excited as anyone to finally get the 2014/15 campaign started.
The Blues boss said: “I think everyone’s ready for it. We’ve worked hard in pre-season and got the lads to where we want them.
“We’re always looking to improve at this football club – both on and off the pitch.
“So if we can be competitive then I’ll be pleased, but the fans can be assured that we’ll give it everything. If that means we go up, then great.
“We’ve recruited well and have the blend of experience and youth needed to hopefully have a good season.
“It’ll be tough against Exeter. Paul Tisdale’s an experienced and very astute manager who has his side playing the right way.
“But we’ve seen footage of them in action during pre-season, so we’re fully prepared.”
Fans will already be trying to guess the first line-up of the season, but Awford insists that it is not all about the first game.
He said: “We’ll do some work on Friday morning and then I’ll announce the team before we travel.
“But I’ve stressed to the whole squad that it’s about the group coming together for the whole season.
“If they’re not involved at Exeter then there are still 45 other league games and hopefully a few cup ties to play in.
“I want the players who are sat on the bench or in the stands cheering when we score.
“They can be disappointed if they’re not in the 11, but I don’t want them moaning about it.”
Ricky Holmes and Ryan Taylor are available for selection at St James Park, but Patrick Agyemang is still sidelined with a hamstring problem.
Pompey are 13/10 with Sky Bet to win at Exeter. Visit www.skybet.com/pompey for more great odds and to find out how you can win £250,000 for the club.