Awford plans striker talks

Tom Craddock

Tom Craddock

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ANDY AWFORD is ready to send Tom Craddock out on loan.

But the fit-again striker will have the final say on how he completes the last stage of his injury recovery.

Craddock is bidding to put 13 months of frustration behind him after recovering from a career-threatening knee problem.

The 28-year-old has now seen action in Pompey reserve games.

And Awford is planning talks with Craddock to see what is the best way forward for him.

‘Tom’s had 80 and 90 minutes (for the reserves),’ said Awford.

‘So I want to speak to him and have a chat about things.

‘He’s physically fit now, and mentally and psychologically good.

‘It’s been 13 months he’s been out, which is a heck of a long time as I know.

‘I will speak to him and decide what’s best for him and the football club over the next few weeks.

‘If it’s a loan, can we find him a decent club at a decent level to get some game time?

‘Or is it best that he stays here and plays in our reserves?

‘We could give him two or three games to really ram him up to speed and say he’s ready.

‘I’ll have that conversation with him and see what’s best.’

Awford praised Craddock’s strength of character from recovering from the knee issue.

He added: ‘I’m so pleased for him. Psychologically, he’s very strong.

‘He’s very strong-willed and strong-minded.

‘He will run through brick walls for you, that’s for sure.

‘He’s the type you’d take into battle with you.

‘Now he just needs that last little bit to get to first-team level.’