Drennan impresses Awford

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The onset of cramp ended Michael Drennan’s second Pompey full debut.

Yet Andy Awford was delighted with the loanee’s display in the trip to York.

The 20-year-old was given the nod to partner Craig Westcarr in attack on Saturday, replacing Patrick Agyemang who didn’t even make the match-day 18 having featured in the last five successive matches.

Subsequently, Drennan was replaced by Ryan Taylor in the 69th minute as the match finished in a goalless draw.

And he had impressed his manager with his showing.

He said: ‘I didn’t select Pat, it was just a selection issue, and I went with Michael and Westie for York.

‘I thought there was an opportunity to have two centre forwards who are more willing to run in behind and threaten down the sides and off the back of their central defenders – and it worked.

‘We got some real good chances. We let Jed be a free spirit and come in off the line and have created enough chances to win the game and were just unfortunate we couldn’t take one.

‘Michael had cramp, which is why I brought him off. I didn’t want to.

‘He was very bright. We all know what Michael Drennan can do and we saw on Saturday why I brought him in.

‘He didn’t really have a chance but he has created plenty for them.

‘If one drops to him maybe it will go in and maybe it will need him to take the next one.

‘It was too early for Ryan (Taylor) to start a game.

‘He has only had 45 minutes for the reserves and it was touch and go whether we would even have him on the bench.

‘But he is confident because he has just scored two goals for the reserves.

‘He did great. We still created chances with Ryan on the pitch. He gives you something different with his hold-up play and clever back-to-goal play and I was pleased with him.’

Drennan was one of two changes to a team who had been unchanged for the previous three fixtures.

The other was Nicky Shorey coming in for Dan Butler at left-back.

It ended three successive starts for the in-form Butler, who travelled with the squad to Bootham Crescent regardless.

But Awford revealed the youngster had taken a knock.

He added: ‘Dan picked up a dead leg in training on Thursday but came with us to the game as part of the group. We will have to see how he is tomorrow.

‘But when you can put Nicky Shorey in it doesn’t affect the team, as we saw with still the same quality of performance.

– NEIL ALLEN