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AWFORD: A GREAT TEST

26 March 2015

Boss looking forward to Shrews match

Next up for Pompey is a clash with the side sitting second in the League Two table.

Shrewsbury are well on course for automatic promotion and have won four of their last six away matches.

But Andy Awford is not frightened by the prospect of facing one of the best sides in the division.

And he welcomes the opportunity for his troops to recover from last Saturday’s disappointing defeat at AFC Wimbledon.

The Blues boss said: “Our performance levels weren’t where they have been in recent weeks, so the challenge is to get them back up against Shrewsbury.

“We don’t go overboard when we win 6-2 at Cambridge, so we won’t go overboard with a defeat either.

“I’m sure it is just one of those displays that every team gets every now and then, so we need to make sure we bounce back.

“It’s a great game against Shrewsbury and I’m really excited by it. It’ll be a packed Fratton Park and we’re facing a side who will probably win automatic promotion.

“So it’s a great opportunity for us to show people what we’re capable of against a side who are right up there.

“They’ve been very consistent this season and that’s why they are where they. They’ve been up there all season.

“A top team coming to Fratton is exactly what we want because it should give everyone a lift. Liam Lawrence returning will spice things up a bit as well.”

Awford is pleased to have had a full week to work with his squad on the training pitch.

He said: “The loan lads who have come in will definitely benefit from that and will be better for it.

“The same is true of Danny East and Ben Chorley, who hadn’t featured for the first team for a while before last week.

“It’s been tough because we had a lot of continuity, but then had a few injuries all at the same time, so we’ve had to chop and change things.”

Pompey have been dealt a blow with the news that Jack Whatmough will be sidelined for months with a knee ligament injury.

Paul Robinson (cheek) and Andy Barcham (knee) will also miss the Shrewsbury match.

Pompey are 9/4 with Sky Bet to win on Saturday. Bet at www.skybet.com/pompey to help the club claim £250,000 from the Sky Bet Transfer Fund.

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