Awford delight at Pompey squad strength

Andy Awford surveyed his revamped Pompey squad and insisted: We’re strong enough to start our season tomorrow.

But the Blues boss is still in the hunt to strengthen his playing ranks.

Nigel Atangana yesterday penned a two-year deal after arriving from the Hawks for an undisclosed fee.

That takes the tally of Pompey signings this summer to six as Awford puts his own stamp on his team.

Nicky Shorey and Jed Wallace have penned new deals, while Danny Hollands, Craig Westcarr and Paul Jones have also joined.

Pompey’s manager is also desperate for another goalkeeper to rival Jones, with only one presently on the club’s books.

That aside, he is delighted with how his squad is shaping up ahead of the League Two kick off on August 9.

He said: ‘With another goalkeeper added, I would happily go into the season tomorrow with what I have got.

‘I would be comfortable with that, definitely.

‘If you gave me another keeper to work with Paul Jones then I would be absolutely fine with us playing tomorrow.

‘Not that the work is done in terms of signings. If we can add to the competitiveness and quality then I would always do that as long as it is within budget.

‘But if the season started tomorrow I would be comfortable – and I would keep adding to that as well.

‘I haven’t got that target of the number of players to get here, not breaking the budget is key.

‘If I can fit 40 players into budget that are capable of playing in League Two then I will. But if I can only fit 20 players then I would do that also.

‘It’s not about numbers, it’s about quality for me.’

Apart from his goalkeeping options, another area Awford would be keen on strengthening is up front.

Although, the versatile Westcarr is a consideration to solve that issue following his arrival from Walsall.

Then there is the centre of defence, with the departures of both Bondz N’Gala and Sonny Bradley inevitably creating a vacancy that needs filling.

At present, Ben Chorley, Jack Whatmough and Joe Devera are the options, with Adam Webster also capable of featuring there.

And Awford wants a different defensive option to those already on his books.

He added: ‘I had a Plan B should somebody leave and we will see where we get to.

‘You have got youth and experience. Jack is very good on the ball, Ben and Joe are very good defensively, so there is a mix there already – and if we can add to it then great,

‘What I won’t be doing is rushing. The first one that might become available might not be the right one.

‘I need to meet him, talk to him and be comfortable with it – it won’t be a rush job.

‘I will make sure it is the right one for this club.’