Pompey boss plays down title talk

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey boss Andy Awford has dismissed the early-season title talk surrounding Pompey.

He brushed off those saying his team will take the League Two crown this season.

And Awford told his men they need to be ready for a testing period on the road, starting this weekend at Oxford.

An opening run of three wins and a draw has proved encouraging for supporters.

That has cemented Pompey’s position as bookies’ favourites to win the league.

Others have been adding their voices to that sentiment, with Cambridge boss Richard Money adamant his opponents last weekend will finish first.

Awford knows it’s too early to get carried away about what can be achieved.

He said: ‘The start has been solid. I won’t go overboard with it because it is so early.

‘Richard Money was saying we are going to win the league, but it is just so early in the season to be saying things like that.

‘I can’t control what other people say or do. We can only go about our work and where it takes us, it take us.

‘Maybe he was trying to take a bit of pressure off his team, by saying we’re going to win it.

‘We’ve only played three games. If we’re going well after 33 games then maybe.

‘It’s a bit early for that sort of comment, in my opinion.

‘But I can’t control what people say. We’ve had a nice, solid start.’

Pompey will face former boss Michael Appleton’s Oxford in confident mood on Saturday.

That is the pre-cursor to the trip to Stoke in the Capital One Cup and league meeting with Newport County at home next weekend.

They then go to Yeovil in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy before further league clashes at Burton and Southend.

Awford said: ‘We didn’t quite get the wheels rolling in the first half at Exeter.

‘But since the half-time whistle blew at Exeter, we have been good.

‘We’ve had two home wins, a point away from home and we’re delighted with that.

‘It’s what we wanted, but we have got three of the next four games in the league away from home, and two cup games away from home.

‘Five out of the next six games are away from Fratton Park.

‘We know what the level of support is like here. It’s fantastic and it gives us that extra edge.

‘Hopefully, we will use that to our advantage, which we have done in the first three games.

‘But we’ve got to knuckle down now and I have told the lads that. We’ve got a testing period coming up.

‘We’ve got to make sure we get the relevant points and also do the business in the cup.

‘I’m not getting carried away because we are fourth in the table. We will keep doing our best and will see where that takes us.’