Pompey boss goes on offensive against players

Johnstone's Paint Trophy - Portsmouth vs Northampton Town - 07/10/14'Andy Awford is angry with Referee after Ricky Holmes gets fouled
Johnstone's Paint Trophy - Portsmouth vs Northampton Town - 07/10/14'Andy Awford is angry with Referee after Ricky Holmes gets fouled

Andy Awford his ditched the defending – and come out on the attack against his Pompey under-achievers.

After 30 matches in charge, the Blues boss publicly turned on his players for the first time in the aftershock of the Aldershot Town humiliation.

It began with a dressing room inquest for more than 30 minutes after the final whistle – an open-house session for everyone to put over their opinion.

Then it was on to face the media as a furious Awford spoke candidly and honestly about the 1-0 abomination.

Names weren’t mentioned but his squad received a savaging.

And for Pompey’s manager, the time had arrived for some home truths.

‘Some things were said in there (the dressing room) which I think should remain private but we are not doing enough and it is blatant to see,’ said Awford.

‘I am not going to kid the supporters, I will say it how it is.

‘Sometimes you (the press) ask a couple of questions and I am a bit guarded at times – but I have had enough of it.

‘There comes a time when enough is enough and you cannot keep defending them (the players).

‘They didn’t do enough to win a game of football, it is as plain as day and they have to do better.

‘I am starting to see a lot of bad and I don’t like it. I don’t like it. As a group there is not enough mental character in there, they let things happen too easily.

‘I said on Tuesday, actions speak a lot louder than words, and in the first half they actioned it, the second half they didn’t.

‘After the game it was open house, everybody who wanted to talk got the opportunity to speak. And why not?

‘I had a large say, Macca (Alan McLoughlin) had a large say, Paul (Hardyman) had a large say, the players have spoken to each other and to us and we have left them in no uncertain terms what we think.

‘There were other people speaking in there as well, other members of staff who probably wouldn’t normally say anything. If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.

‘There was ranting and raving at some points but no-one was confronting anybody. There were some strong words said in there by a lot of people.

‘Somebody told me it was said on Facebook there was fisticuffs after the Plymouth game. I would not allow that to happen. It wasn’t the case. I can dispel that rumour straight away and nothing like that happened Wednesday night.

‘As for what was said in there, that should remain in there. I don’t think it should be talked about outside it.’

Morecambe are the visitors to Fratton Park tomorrow and Awford must rally his players.

And Awford is fully aware the key for turning around the situation is consistency.

‘There is no consistency and then as soon as things start to go wrong the players do what they want to do instead of what we need them to do for the team,’ he said.

‘We were good in the first half and that is the problem, chalk and cheese, just like at Plymouth.

‘You could argue on Saturday we were rubbish in the first half and did okay in the second – that was the opposite against Aldershot. But you can’t play the game for them.’