Boss says Pompey deserved Southend defeat
Second half goals from Barry Corr and Shaquile Coulthirst saw the Blues slip to a third successive league defeat.
That came after an uninspiring opening 45 minutes at Roots Hall in which both sides failed to impress.
The Blues boss said: “It was pretty even in the first half and there weren’t a lot of chances.
And Awford felt that Pompey did not do enough in front of goal to deserve anything from the game.
“I expected it to be tight because both sides were lining up with the same system – 4-3-3 – and we cancelled each other out.
“But the first goal went in and we didn’t recover well enough after that.
“If you look at the stats the first goal is so important and we had a chance early in the second half.
“Miles Storey couldn’t take it, while they then had one from a set-piece at the other end and took it.
“I’m not going to criticise anyone for the second goal because we needed to push for a goal and they caught us on the counter.
Pompey also had a couple of injury scares, with Jed Wallace limping off and Jack Whatmough struggling towards the end.
“Now we have to stick together and show belief and desire to get back to winning ways.”
“There were some elements we were pleased with, but we were just a bit loose when the ball went in to their front men.
“But, if I’m honest, we just didn’t show enough quality to get something from the game.
“We had a couple of opportunities in the second half – the ball didn’t quite fall right for Andy Barcham and there were other bits and bobs.
Awford explained. “Jed came off with a bit of a calf injury and we’ll have to see on Monday whether he’s fit for Tuesday. “Jack just had a bit of cramp and that’s probably because he hasn’t played too much lately.”