Awford lauds Pompey spirit

Andy Awford lauded the inspirational Pompey spirit following last night’s stunning late comeback against Tranmere.

The Blues were heading for a 2-0 defeat against Micky Adams’ side with 14 minutes remaining.

But two goals for Ryan Taylor and one from substitute Craig Westcarr turned the Fratton Park fixture on its head.

The eventual 3-2 success made it three consecutive victories for Pompey, who are now six matches unbeaten.

And Awford credits the players’ team spirit as the driving force for that remarkable fightback.

‘What happened was down to team spirit, character and the atmosphere created by the Fratton supporters,’ said Awford.

‘The players have always had spirit – now there is belief and confidence with it.

‘That is one thing we work very hard on with the group.

‘You very rarely hear me talk about individuals. It is all about the team, and the spirit in that dressing room is fantastic, it really is.

‘The players have created that. We obviously cajole them a bit with it, but they are a tight-knit bunch, they are a great group to work with.

‘The training ground is buoyant at the moment, everybody enjoys coming into work, everybody puts a shift in – even the lads that aren’t playing at the minute – and there are some who haven’t had many minutes of late.

‘They are all in, all together and all pulling for the same cause – and that cause is to try to climb the table.’

Last night’s victory took the Blues’ recent points haul to 14 from the last 18 available.

That five-match undefeated run has lifted them to 13th in League Two – nine points away from the play-off spots.

Against Rovers, it wasn’t a vintage display from Pompey as they trailed 2-0 after 50 minutes.

Jennison Myrie-Williams’ strike midway through the first half gave the visitors the lead, before a Paul Jones own goal doubled it after the break.

However, once Westcarr pulled one back in the 76th minute, there was only going to be one winner as Awford’s men ran rampant during a spectacular finale.

‘Before the goals we weren’t as good as we have been of late, I have to say that,’ added Awford.

‘Tranmere made it very difficult and credit to Micky (Adams) and his team, they set up well and did a good job on us for 76 minutes.

‘But we had chances in that period and could have been 1-0 up after a minute.

‘We had enough chances to have still scored, so it wasn’t brilliant, but it wasn’t awful either. For me it was average-to-good.

‘We wanted to up it after the interval. Obviously, the goal knocks the stuffing out of you in the second half and then we got going again.

‘And thankfully we managed to win it.’