Awford agreed it was right time to go

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

  • Awford agreed time was right for exit
  • Exit arrived with play-off ambition dead
  • Board were aware of fan ‘apathy’
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ANDY AWFORD agreed with

the Pompey hierarchy it was the right time for his managerial exit.

The play-offs were our definite aim and we came to Andy as a consequence of that not really being achievable.

Mark Catlin

The Blues hero was yesterday removed as boss after just over a year in the Fratton Park hot seat.

Weekend discussions after the 3-1 defeat at Morecambe led to a meeting yesterday between Awford, chairman Iain McInnes and chief executive Mark Catlin at the club’s Hilsea training ground.

That’s where Awford’s exit was confirmed, with Pompey’s stated ambition of making the play-offs this season out of the window.

The Blues stated the former defender’s exit was by mutual consent – and Catlin explained that was genuinely the case.

‘It’s a conversation you don’t want to have,’ he said.

‘The board, club and support has backed Andy through thick and thin.

‘But, following the conversation with him, it became clear from the board and Andy’s side, it was the right thing to do.

‘The play-offs were our definite aim and we came to Andy as a consequence of that not really being achievable.

‘It was an open and frank discussion.

‘Andy took the pain out of the meeting by saying he’d had thoughts himself about how far he’d come.

‘He cares passionately about the club and maybe it was time to step down and give someone else a chance.’

Catlin admitted the mood of Pompey fans contributed to the decision over Awford.

He said: ‘What was developing was a general apathy.

‘Sometimes you have to make that change to get someone who can give the fans that renewed optimism.’