Awford future to become clearer

Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford’s future as Pompey boss will become clearer tomorrow.

And support for him taking up the role permanently is overwhelming both within the boardroom and among the Fratton faithful.

A long-scheduled board meeting will take place at Fratton Park tomorrow at 3pm.

It’s a monthly event which Awford will also attend as standard practice for the man at the helm.

Among those giving the 41-year-old backing is Blues chairman Iain McInnes, who has been hugely impressed with the caretaker manager’s performance since his appointment.

His is just one opinion, however, with a seven-man board sitting to democratically decide the identity of the next boss now League Two safety has been secured.

A number of applications have also been received since Richie Barker departed, despite Pompey not actively pushing for candidates while battling relegation.

Crucially, though, there remains massive support for Awford within the football club ahead of the key meeting.

McInnes said: ‘Tomorrow will be the start of the process to choose the manager.

‘I would have thought it is unlikely the decision will be finalised on that day, although the framework and probably a heads of agreement will be pretty close by the end of it.

‘Andy will also attend the board meeting, although that is to be expected as the caretaker manager.

‘We have had applications ever since Richie Barker left but our first conversations will be with Andy – and every single one of the board has strong feelings.

‘I think the reward for a job well done ought to be an opportunity to do more of it, that’s my own personal opinion.

‘It would be daft to vote against him. The “I can do” means more on a CV than anything else.

‘But this is a board meeting, everyone will have their say and we have to be calm, cool and collected. We do not have to rush things.’

Since his March 27 appointment, Awford has led the Blues to five successive victories – and League Two safety.

It’s a stunning performance which has won him the admiration of McInnes.

He added: ‘When we gave Andy the chance we were looking at six or seven points from those four games – and he goes and gets 15 from five.

‘We love to sing the Great Escape but I think we should play whatever the theme tune is for the Charge Of The Light Brigade.

‘It has not been defending stoutly and creeping out for draws, there has been no sneaking under camouflage and under fences.

‘He has said ‘Follow me’ and we have battered our way out of the situation.

‘Andy has been awe-inspiring and the great thing about him is strong people don’t put people down – they try to lift them.’