Awford boss talks to continue

Talks remain ongoing over the appointment of Andy Awford as Pompey’s new manager.

The caretaker boss spent two hours with the Blues’ board at Fratton Park last night during discussions over the job.

Pompey caretaker manager Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey caretaker manager Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler

His future was one of a number of items on the agenda for the long-scheduled monthly meeting attended by all seven board members.

Yet they dispersed yesterday evening with some details still requiring to be thrashed out before giving the 41-year-old the role.

Regardless, Awford is in pole position and the only name currently being considered following his outstanding current performance.

With the Pompey team bus scheduled to leave for Bury this morning, further talks have been put on hold until after tomorrow’s Gigg Lane fixture.

They are expected to resume on Sunday with the possibility of Awford appointed on Monday or Tuesday.

And chairman Iain McInnes was encouraged by the progress.

He told The News: ‘Talks have been positive, thought-provoking and very constructive so far.

‘Andy gave us his views and there has been plenty to talk about on the structure of the club going forwards.

‘More talking is required but unfortunately tomorrow’s game has got in the way a little bit and Andy is focussing on that.

‘We will all chat some more once that is out of the way – with another Pompey victory hopefully.’

Awford has made clear to the board of his desire to become Blues boss on a permanent basis.

Yesterday also represented the first time all seven members had the opportunity to meet him to discuss the role.

However, such an appointment would require a reorganising of the club’s structure, particularly within the Academy.

Promoting Academy coach Paul Hardyman to serve as his assistant is an option, yet will leave the current youth set-up short-staffed.

There is also the issue of a goalkeeping coach, with the club currently not employing anyone in the role since the departure of Anthony Williams.

Awford has already decided on the make-up of the Blues squad should he take charge, with 16 players who have appeared in the first-team this season out of contract.

The pressing need to finalise their futures and start recruitment for next season has ensured the board are eager to clarify the manager situation as soon as possible.

Chief executive Mark Catlin and finance director Tony Brown were also present at the board meeting.

Other items on the agenda included season ticket pricing for 2014-15 now Pompey’s Football League status has been secured and the training ground at Roko, where work on pitches have started.