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AWFORD: SYSTEM ISN'T DEFENSIVE

12 February 2015

Boss looking to create plenty of chances against Exeter

Andy Awford has backed Pompey to rediscover their attacking form against Exeter.

The Blues created plenty in recent matches against Wycombe and Hartlepool, although the chances dried up in Tuesday night’s goalless draw at Dagenham & Redbridge.

Pompey have kept three clean sheets while utilising a 3-5-2 system to remain unbeaten in those previous three matches.

And while that record pleases Awford, he is not sacrificing flair in favour of solidity.

The Blues boss said: “I’d rather win 5-4 than draw 0-0, but we needed some stability – and that’s not just down to the back three and the goalkeeper.

“The wing-backs have worked hard, while Danny Hollands and James Dunne are prepared to do the horrible stuff.

“Jed Wallace has also been putting a shift in defensively, which isn’t the strongest part of his game.

“And the front two have been closing down quickly and stopping opposing teams from getting at us.

“But a back three isn’t a defensive system – we created a lot of chances against Wycombe and Hartlepool recently and I’m sure we will against Exeter.

“Hopefully we can take one or two of those opportunities and end up with all three points.”

Pompey will take on an Exeter side who sit ninth in League Two and are just three points off the play-off spots. 

Awford said: “We went there on the first game of the season and many were disappointed to only come away with a draw.

“A lot of people thought they would be at the other end of the table this season, but it looks a good point now!

“But if we can beat them then that’s eight points out of a possible 12, which is a healthy return.”

Awford is hoping to have both Matt Tubbs and Ben Chorley available for selection against the Grecians.

He said: “We’ll have a check on Matt after the knock he got at Dagenham, but we think he’ll be fine.

“We’re also keeping our fingers crossed that Ben will be okay after he returned to training.”

Pompey are 23/20 favourites with Sky Bet to beat Exeter. Bet at www.skybet.com/pompey to increase our chances of claiming £250,000 from the Sky Bet Transfer Fund.

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