Awford focused on Blues’ strengths

Andy Awford, right, talks tactics with Alan McLoughlin Picture: Barry Zee
Andy Awford, right, talks tactics with Alan McLoughlin Picture: Barry Zee

Andy Awford has told his Pompey troops: Let’s focus on what we can do to our opponents.

The Blues boss looks set to stick to a 4-2-3-1 formation at Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow after two straight wins in his first two games in caretaker charge.

But while other managers have adapted their formations and tinkered with the system to combat their opponents, Awford has placed his trust in his players.

And it’s a significant shift in emphasis on what damage Pompey can do to their rivals.

Awford explained: ‘It’s all about us.

‘Obviously, we look at the opposition because it’s the right thing to do.

‘I don’t know what other managers do – that’s down to them.

‘But, without any disrespect to any teams, I certainly don’t pay too much attention to the opposition.

‘I let our lads know where they can hurt us and a few things but it’s more about where we can hurt them. That’s more for me.

‘You will pass on information about what the other team will do and how they play.

‘But the emphasis is always on us and what we do.

‘If we do what we can do, I feel we will win more than we lose.

‘Mind you, if I was going to Manchester City in the FA Cup, I would tinker it because you judge each game on its merits.

‘But with the positivity and the front-foot approach we have got, if we continue to do what we’ve done in the past two games, we will be okay.’

The caretaker boss has used Ryan Taylor in the lone striker’s role with a five-man midfield in the past two games.

And he insists it is designed to get the best from the players he has available.

He said: ‘If I had a group of players where I thought a 3-6-1 formation would suit us, I would play that.

‘It’s about assessing the group of players and what suits us best.

‘Keeping it simple helps. It doesn’t need to be over-complicated and I haven’t had time to make things complicated.

‘But everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.’

And Awford also believes missing confidence has returned to some of his players.

He said: ‘The wins have brought confidence.

‘There has been a rise in those confidence levels, without a doubt.

‘It’s when you are on a two-game losing streak, you have to rediscover it.

‘But if I could tell you how to bottle that confidence, I wouldn’t be sat here!’