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AWFORD: SIDE WILL SETTLE

11 September 2014

Boss enjoys free week ahead of Southend clash

It is not something that Pompey have been able to experience during a hectic start to the campaign.

So Andy Awford has enjoyed having a free midweek to prepare his players for Saturday’s trip to Southend.

Pompey are trying to avoid a third successive league defeat following reverses against Newport and Burton.

And Awford expects his side to have a more settled look in the coming weeks, having tinkered with both personnel and formations so far this season.

The Blues boss said: “It’s been nice to have a free week and the chance to get some work done on the training pitch.

“The games are settling down now and we’re getting less Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday situations.

“So maybe we need to find a settled way of playing now. I’m getting to a stage where I’ll find out what suits the players best.

“There were elements of the Newport game that I wasn’t happy with and the players know that.

“I wasn’t too unhappy with the overall performance at Burton, but we lacked a cutting edge in the final third.

“We’ve had a solid start and are sat in ninth position. We’d have liked more points, but it’s still early days and a lot of new players came into the squad over the summer.”

Pompey travel to Roots Hall to face a Shrimpers side who have not won any of their last five matches.

Awford said:  “I went to watch them play Oxford last Saturday and I’ve seen their previous games as well.

“They’ve got good energy in the middle of the park and have some decent front players.

“Their manager Phil Brown has been there for a while now, so he knows the squad and knows the league.

“I think they’ll be looking to build on a decent season last year, so we know it’s going to be tough.”

Ben Chorley will miss the Southend clash after injuring his calf in training, while Nigel Atangana (hamstring) and Nick Awford (shoulder) are both still sidelined.

Tickets for Pompey’s next home match against Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday, September 16 (7.45pm kick-off) are available to buy online here.

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