Awford: Macca, Pompey fans and the highs and lows

Andy Awford, centre, celebrates the high avoiding the drop last season with Alan McLoughlin and Paul Hardyman. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford, centre, celebrates the high avoiding the drop last season with Alan McLoughlin and Paul Hardyman. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford has given his take on some of the issues he faced during his spell as Pompey boss.

AWFORD ON...FAN POWER

Throughout my time, the support I received from 99.9-per-cent of the supporters was phenomenal.

I thank them for that and I get emotional when I think about it. Those great moments will live with me forever.

Going in last season with seven games to go to keep the club up, it was all or nothing.

Psychologically, I changed a few things and showed a few how important it was to play for this club and how vital the supporters are to us.

We rallied the supporters and they rallied us as well.

AWFORD ON...TOUGH DEPARTURES

The whole episode with Macca (Alan McLoughlin) could have been handled better by everybody – me, the club and the media.

Everybody could have come out of it a lot better and most importantly, Macca.

It was a horrible time.

He rang me when I left, which was good of him.

We have been friends for a long time. I haven’t seen him since but I’m sure we’ll get together and sort it out.

We are still friends. We are probably not as close as we were but I’m hoping we can resurrect that.

When I left, Iain and Mark arrived at the training ground but I had a hunch they might be turning up.

Once they started talking, I agreed with a lot of what they said, although not everything so it was a mutual thing, I suppose.

Once you are not wanted, it’s time to move on. There was no point in me sitting there arguing or pleading with them. They had made their decision.

AWFORD ON...HIGHS AND LOWS

I never felt I wasn’t up to the job. My win percentage of 36-per-cent is up there.

Taking Harry Redknapp out of the equation, I was the most successful manager in 20 years going back to Jim Smith.

I won two manager of the month awards in 10 months so I was doing something right.

Of course, you have self-doubt after defeats. I used to analyse things in depth about what I could have done better every week. But I never felt it wasn’t for me.

The FA Cup defeat at Aldershot was tough – probably the lowest point.

But there were great moments that I will treasure like the game against Northampton last season.

Bristol Rovers had kicked off earlier, but I came outside for a bit of fresh air on my own and a text came through that we were safe – that feeling was immense. It was a special moment.

It was job done. The biggest achievement was last season.

If we hadn’t done what we did, we would have got relegated. Keeping the club up was massive for everyone.