ANDY AWFORD is looking to find a settled ‘winning formula’ as he prepares his troops for Southend.
The Pompey boss revealed he is ready to stick with one system and put an end to his tinkering ahead of the trip to Roots Hall.
Awford’s men are aiming to return to winning ways against the Shrimpers, after two defeats on the bounce in League Two.
That has slowed a powerful opening from the Blues, after they picked up 10 points from their first four games.
Pompey have used a variety of formations this season, which has kept opponents guessing.
But now Awford is aiming to adopt a single way forward, as his team did when they powered to survival at the end of last season.
Awford said: ‘We have chopped and changed and it’s been successful, in the main.
‘But we are getting to a stage now where the players, whoever is selected, need a settled system to get going.
‘With the midweek games it doesn’t really matter what the system is because all you are doing is resting, recovering and playing. That’s how it’s been.
‘We have the Dagenham game Tuesday, but it settles down a bit now.
‘I think we are getting to the stage where we can put in good work in training and settle down to a system which works.
‘Whether it’s 4-3-3, 3-5-2, 4-2-3-1 or 1-1-8, we need to find a way like last season.
‘I was fortunate then that we went to Newport with a way which worked.
‘I can see from now the system remaining the same for a few weeks, as long as we find that system.
‘I might change personnel game to game.
‘But the system will probably stay the same.
‘It’s all about the players. The players have to be comfortable with it.
‘Then it’s winning with it. We have to find that winning formula, which I’m hoping will be tomorrow.
‘Let’s find that winning formula first, and then, when we do, let’s crack on with it.’
Awford knows Pompey need to show the clinical edge that was missing at League Two leaders Burton if they are to end their current ‘blip’.
He said: ‘We need to win. That will happen, I’m confident of that.
‘But we have to find that clinical edge in front of goal that we showed at Yeovil.
‘We have to kill teams off when we have good periods in the game.
‘Last year I’d walk into a press conference and we all knew we were going to win on Saturday. It was never in doubt.
‘It was a train and you couldn’t stop it.
‘We picked it up at the start of the season and had the three wins on a spin at home.
‘Now we’ve just hit a little blip, and we have to make sure we get over it.
‘We just need to get those next three points and kick on again.’