Awford questions his decision to twist

Andy Awford. Picture: Ashley Zee
Andy Awford. Picture: Ashley Zee
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Andy Awford admitted he may have made a mistake in chasing the victory after seeing Pompey defeated for their first time in League Two this season.

The Blues boss felt his decision to go for all three points in the final 20 minutes of the game probably cost his team a point that would have preserved their unbeaten start.

But while most would have agreed with Awford taking a risk in going for the victory, he took the responsibility and believes it could be a useful lesson for him in the future.

Awford said: ‘With 20 minutes to go, I was thinking “shall we leave it as it is, or shall we change it and go for it?”

‘Maybe we should have stuck.

‘But I take full responsibility for it.

‘If I had left it how it was, maybe we would have drawn 0-0 and we would have taken a decent point and moved on.

‘But I chucked Miles Storey on and tried to go for it and we put Nigel Atangana on for some fresh legs.

‘Maybe that’s a lesson for me.’

Awford’s decision to leave out Nigel Atangana from the start was the main talking point before the game with the former Hawks man having impressed so far this term.

But the manager felt Ricky Holmes would be better suited to a more central role behind the strikers. Awford said: ‘I wanted to play Holmesy in behind, so it was then two from three out of Nigel, Danny Hollands and James Dunne.

‘That was the choice.

‘I brought Nigel on and we conceded with him on the pitch.

‘But that’s no criticism of him.

‘He has done fantastically well so far but I just felt it was the way to go this time.

‘In the past it has worked, maybe this time, it didn’t.’

Awford also bemoaned his side’s sluggish start to the game and pointed to the two clear chances that were squandered by Ryan Taylor and Craig Westcarr.

‘I just don’t think the start to the game was good enough,’ he said.

‘We didn’t do enough in that first half and we didn’t do the horrible side of the game well enough.

‘That’s the criticism I have of them.

‘We can’t expect it to be easy out there.

‘We have to be at it from minute one.

‘We have to do that side of the game better.

‘We created two fantastic chances and you would like to take one of them, although that’s not a criticism of Ryan or Craig.

‘If we had got in front, it’s a different game.

‘Then they would have had to come out.’

– STEVE WILSON