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AWFORD SLAMS FIRST HALF DISPLAY

11 October 2014

Boss unhappy with Pompey's start against Stags

It was 45 minutes to forget for most of the people packed inside Fratton Park.

Andy Awford was one of those present who felt Pompey’s first half performance against Mansfield just was not up to scratch.

It got even worse for the Blues just after the break when Simon Heslop fired the Stags ahead.

But that seemed to be the pick-me-up the hosts needed and substitute Nigel Atangana teed-up Paul Robinson for the equaliser.

Pompey dominated the closing stages without being able to score again, but Awford knows that their overall display has to improve.

The Blues boss said: “The first half wasn’t good enough. I wouldn’t want to pay money to watch that performance.

“I was very disappointed with the goal we conceded and it started right from kick-off when we gifted them a throw.

“They stick the ball into the box a lot from long throws. We didn’t handle it and we’re one down.

“But fair play to our players – they responded to falling behind.

“Once we got the goal and that shot of confidence, maybe we could have gone on to win the game.

“It wasn’t to be, but because of the first half display I don’t think we deserved to win the game in all honesty.

“I wasn’t happy at the break, but there wasn’t any ranting or raving. I wanted to stay constructive.

“If they don’t try that’s when I lose my temper, but there was no problem with effort, application or desire.

“We just have to play at a higher tempo and make better decisions than the ones we did. If we play how we did for the last 30 minutes then we’ll be fine.”

Pompey have now drawn four league games in succession and Awford wants to see his side adopt a more clinical touch.

He said: “Nigel did fantastically well for the goal and gave us the energy that we needed when he came on.

“But we have to make more of the opportunities we have when we’re clearly on top.

“We want to be winning more games – we don’t want to become the draw specialists.”

James Dunne will miss Pompey’s trip to Bury next Saturday after collecting his fifth booking of the season.

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