Awford explains Carson decision

Former Pompey goalkeeper Trevor Carson Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Pompey goalkeeper Trevor Carson Picture: Joe Pepler

ANDY AWFORD has revealed the reasons why he didn’t move for Trevor Carson.

The Pompey boss explained he is looking for two keepers to fight it out for the number one spot next season.

And he felt the Ulsterman would have wanted assurances he would have been at the head of the keeping pecking order.

Awford has instead opted to bring in Crawley’s Paul Jones and Torquay’s Michael Poke to battle it out for the starting role.

Carson now looks set to join Pompey’s League Two rivals Cheltenham, after leaving Bury.

The 26-year-old made 40 Blues appearances last season after arriving at Fratton Park in October, and quickly established himself as first-choice.

That led to him picking up several player-of-the-year plaudits at the end of the campaign after an impressive spell.

But Awford wanted to go down a different route – and made no apologies for that decision.

He said: ‘I believe Trevor has got himself fixed up and I’m delighted for him.

‘He did really well for us last season – you don’t win player-of-the-year awards if you don’t do well, because the fans know.

‘From my point of view, I felt it needed freshening.

‘Once Paul Jones became available, we went out and got him straight away. Then it was a case of waiting for the next right one.

‘I think Trevor would have wanted to be a number one, whereas I’ve got two who are going to fight it out.

‘The last time I spoke to him was the end of last season but, since then, I have gone about my business and done what I’ve wanted to do.

‘There is no bad feeling on my part and I hope there isn’t on his part.

‘We got on fine and the next time I see him, hopefully, we will have a beer and shake hands. That’s the way football works.

‘I’ve got to do what’s best for our football club – not what’s best for me or Trevor Carson.’

Awford stated he is in no rush to make his mind up on who will get the nod for the League Two opener at Exeter on August 9.

But he is encouraged that he has been able to bring in two goalkeeping options who have been picking up experience at first-team level.

Awford said: ‘Let’s see how it goes in pre-season.

‘I don’t have a preferred left-back, right-back or striker, so why should it be any different for a goalkeeper?

‘If I’d had a keeper for two or three years who is an established number one, I can see that.

‘But two new goalkeepers have come in, I’m looking forward to working with both of them and they are both able to play at the level we are at, so I’m really pleased with that.

‘I don’t want any shoo-ins. I want competition in all places and I’ve never really understood why the goalkeeping slot is any different. Why should it be?’