Awford looking to upset the form table
Pompey are in the middle of a daunting set of fixtures against the League Two pace-setters.
Second-placed Burton are the next opponents this weekend – the Blues’ first home fixture of 2015.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side have won their last three matches and are unbeaten in six.
Andy Awford knows it is a difficult task awaiting his side, but is confident that Pompey are up to the challenge.
The Blues boss said: “Jimmy took over a good side there when Gary Rowett moved to Birmingham. He’d been there for a few years and built that team up.
“Normally when a new manager comes in it’s because the team aren’t doing too well, but that wasn’t the case there.
“They’ve just gone second in the league after beating Mansfield last weekend and it will be a tough game.
“When we went up there earlier in the season they let us have a lot of the ball, sat deep and then tried to hit us on the counter-attack.
“They did that very well on the day and took their chances, while we didn’t take ours.
“But that was a long time ago and both sides have changed a bit since that day – they’ve changed their manager as well.
“I can take heart from the last two displays – if we maintain the same level of performance then we’ll be fine.”
Paul McCallum could make his Blues debut against the Brewers after arriving on loan from West Ham for the rest of the season.
Awford said: “He bring us more firepower and more options up front, which is what we needed.
“A lot of young lads don’t want to get their hands dirty, but he’s prepared to come out to League Two clubs in order to play football. That shows he’s got character.
“He’s scored goals wherever he’s been and I think he offers us something different in attack.”
Pompey are 6/4 favourites with Sky Bet to claim all three points against Burton.