Awford praises Jones response

Pompey keeper Paul Jones concedes the opener against Bournemouth. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey keeper Paul Jones concedes the opener against Bournemouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford has praised the character of Paul Jones following his response to his Bournemouth gaffe.

The keeper let Tokelo Rantie’s half-volley squirm through his hands and his legs to gift the visitors a third-minute lead last night.

That put Eddie Howe’s men on the way to a 3-0 lead, although a late Pompey fightback reduced the deficit to a 3-2 final scoreline.

However, Awford was pleased with how Jones bounced back to pull off two excellent stops.

He was then one of nine substitutions at the break with Michael Poke taking over.

And the Blues boss afterwards gave credit to his summer signing.

He said: ‘The first goal that Paul let slip through him, how has he (Rantie) got there in the first place?

‘That is what I was pleased with, it is easy to crumble and he didn’t.

‘He’s made a mistake for the first goal, which he would expect to save and I would expect him to, but then he has made two really good saves.

‘There was one at the near post and one when he tipped it around the post after.

‘He had no chance with the other two, they were really good finishes once their players have got in there.

‘He hasn’t crumbled after that first goal, though.

‘For me he has still kicked really well and made those saves.

‘It’s just unfortunate he will be remembered for that mistake in front of the Fratton end.

‘But he is strong enough to bounce back and I am sure he will.

‘That is the character you want in your team.’

Rival Poke marked his first match back after three games out with an ankle injury by keeping a clean sheet.