Awford: Formation switch has to suit

Cole Kpekawa could make a return to the side. Picture: Barry Zee

Cole Kpekawa could make a return to the side. Picture: Barry Zee

  • Pompey boss weighs up tactical options
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Andy Awford has hinted that the wing-backs may be grounded again for Plymouth.

The Blues boss ditched the formation in the 2-2 draw at Carlisle and saw his side turn in one of their better displays of recent weeks, which should have taken all three points.

You have to pick a formation, tactics and strategy around what you’ve got

Andy Awford

The chances of Awford restoring the system appear slim – especially with a clutch of centre-backs sidelined through injury.

Paul Robinson and Jack Whatmough are definitely missing again, while Ben Chorley and Nyron Nosworthy were both forced off with injuries at Brunton Park.

Neither Johnny Ertl nor loan signing Cole Kpekawa were involved in the 18-man squad at Carlisle and both could come back into the reckoning.

Nosworthy looks the most likely to be available after needing stitches in a head wound but Chorley would need to make a speedy recovery from a back problem to retain his place.

Awford, however, believes his change of system back to last season’s 4-2-3-1 suited the players at his disposal.

He said: ‘I just felt we needed to go that way for that game. We’ve found a way to get results playing 3-5-2 with different personnel.

But as I’ve always said, you have to pick a formation, tactics and strategy around what you’ve got.

‘It’s no good asking the players to play to my way all the time – you have to make it suit them and fit it to them.

‘We’ve gone back to last season with the 4-2-3-1.

‘We had James Dunne and Nigel Atangana as the two sitting midfielders.

‘Dunne was holding a bit more because that is more natural to him.

‘Then you are looking at three behind Ryan Taylor.

‘Matt Tubbs will naturally go up and join him, Jed Wallace will play with freedom and pace, while Wes Fogden gives you that energy.

‘The big thing was not to leave Taylor isolated, which we didn’t at Carlisle.

‘Lots of teams play with one up but the striker is sometimes 40 yards away so it’s about getting people close to him.

‘With those three playing behind him, I felt they would always get to him.

‘I felt it worked well for long periods but we will have a look at it again for the Plymouth game and see who is available and what suits us.

‘We will see how the injuries are and then see where we are.

‘I would think Chorley wil be a bigger doubt than Nos but we’ll see.’