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AWFORD: WE'RE FRESH AND RARING TO GO

11 December 2014

Boss confident ahead of Accrington test

Pompey’s early exit from the FA Cup has meant a two-week gap between fixtures.

And so the Blues will be happy to return to Fratton Park for Saturday’s clash with a rejuvenated Accrington outfit.

Andy Awford’s side have been poor on the road this season, but excelled on home soil and been beaten just once in the league.

Their opponents, meanwhile, have recovered from a dreadful start since John Coleman replaced James Beattie in the dug-out.

Awford expects a difficult test against the Lancashire outfit, but is confident Pompey can provide some Christmas cheer.

The Blues boss said: “I went up to watch Accrington against Yeovil in the FA Cup last weekend and they’re a good footballing side.

“They held a higher league outfit to a draw and probably deserved to go through on the balance of play – and they’ve got the reward of a tie against Manchester United if they win the replay.

“Accrington get the ball down and try to play the right way – if you let them they can cause you problems.

“But I’m confident we can get three points if we play to our potential – just as we have done at Fratton Park all season.

“This place will be rocking on Saturday and I know the fans will get behind the team just like they always do.

“We’re fresh and ready to go after a two-week break. We’ve used the time well to prepare properly for this game.

“It’s all about taking things one game at a time and we’re fully focused on trying to collect three points against Accrington.

Pompey will be without suspended top scorer Jed Wallace, who picked up his fifth booking of the campaign in the defeat at Tranmere a fortnight ago.

Awford said: “It’s a blow and he’ll be missed – any player who scores 11 goals for you will be.

“But that’s why you have a squad of players and it opens the door for another person to play.

“Someone will get a chance to come into the side and they need to take that opportunity.”

Joe Devera is back in contention after recovering from a hamstring injury, but Saturday’s game comes too soon for Danny East and Adam Webster, despite the duo featuring for the reserves during the week.

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