Waddock impressed with ‘enthusiastic’ Pompey boss

Gary Waddock, left, and Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Waddock, left, and Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gary Waddock believes ‘enthusiastic’ Andy Awford can rally the players and spark Pompey’s season back into life.

Currently in 17th spot, the Blues are slipping down the League Two table towards dangerous territory.

It’s a long way from the board’s pre-season target of a play-off challenge.

But there have been plenty of positives displayed in recent trips to high-flying pair Luton and Newport County.

They have shown the Blues’ players remain motivated, despite a run of five wins from their past 25 matches in all competitions.

And Awford’s assistant manager believes Pompey’s boss can it turn the form around.

Waddock said: ‘Andy is very enthusiastic about the job, the club and the group of players he has got.

‘That enthusiasm can rub off on players.

‘That is what you want, you don’t want somebody who is doom and gloom.

‘He is very, very enthusiastic, very passionate about the club and wants to take it forward. I’m really enjoying working with him.

‘Andy’s a young manager, it’s his first job. I can remember when I had my first job as well.

‘It is difficult because when a young manager comes into a job he is not going to be experienced.

‘You only get that experience by going through that process and, as we all know, he has the football club at heart, he wants to do the right things – and that is what he is doing.

‘You are always learning. You make mistakes but if you do you learn from it, then you are improving.

‘I have made mistakes as a manager in the past but I’d like to think I have learnt from them.

‘I now have a bit more experience, am a bit older, a bit wiser and some of the decisions which need to be made I have made in the past, so I can possibly support and help Andy.

‘He wants to make sure he can turn that around with the help of all his staff. I know he’s had a lot of support from the chairman and chief executive, which is fantastic.’

As it stands, Pompey are 11 points adrift of the play-offs, with at least a game in hand on many of those above.

On the other hand, they are five points clear of the relegation zone.

But Waddock is refusing to give up on the play-off target.

He added: ‘At the start of the season everybody knows what the aim is, it doesn’t change.

‘If there are enough points on the board you continue to try to achieve what you set out to achieve.

‘It may have to adjust during the course of the campaign but there are still enough points there to do something this season.

‘You never give up on what you want to do. Everybody wants to get out of this division and we have to make sure we start picking up points.’