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AWFORD PRAISES POMPEY CHARACTER

28 December 2014

Boss happy with performance in Luton draw

There was a sense of deja vu when Luke Rooney volleyed Luton ahead early in the game.

But anyone who expected Pompey's heads to drop was wrong.

They kept fighting and were rewarded for their efforts when Ryan Taylor scrambled home an equaliser before the break to secure a 1-1 draw.

And Andy Awford was thrilled with the attitude shown by his troops at Kenilworth Road.

The Blues boss said: “That’s five successive games now where we’ve gone a goal behind.

“We started really well and then their first shot goes in the back of the net – but we showed good character after that.

“I thought we were the better side in the first half and thoroughly deserved to go in level at the break.

“There was plenty of resilience and determination on show from us to collect a good point.

“Luton are flying at the moment and came into the game with plenty of momentum, but I’m delighted with our performance.

“That’s the level we have to play at every week – whether it’s home or away. We need that level of intensity and if we show that then we’re a good side.”

Awford was particularly pleased for Taylor, who ended a barren spell in front of goal to notch his third of the season.

He said: “Ryan’s been unfortunate in the last couple of game and maybe the supporters have given him some stick.

“But he’s a vital part of our side, is great at holding the ball up and I’m delighted for him that he got our goal.

“He needed a scrappy one, but hopefully he can now be off and running and get a few more.”

Awford sprung a surprise before kick-off by handing rare starts to Andy Barcham and skipper Johnny Ertl in midfield.

He said: “I felt it was the right game for both of them to come into the side.

“Andy did very well in the first half and looked a real threat on the left-hand side – he gave their full-back a bit of a torrid time.

“The only way Johnny was coming off was on a stretcher and it was great to see James Dunne on the bench as well.”

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