Awford braced for Wallace interest

Jed Wallace celebrates his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace celebrates his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Midfielder grabs 16th goal in 45 games this season
  • Contracted to Pompey until summer of 2017

Andy Awford admits he expects a summer transfer chase for Jed Wallace.

The 21-year-old helped himself to another stunning goal during yesterday’s 2-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle.

Jed has got that in his locker to spark the game, he can do special things

Andy Awford

His 16th of the campaign followed the Good Friday cracker at Carlisle.

Many Blues fans have accepted they will lose Wallace at the end of the campaign, with a host of clubs continuing to monitor his progress.

With 29 goals in 117 appearances for the club, it is clearly going to be a battle to retain him.

And Awford is also braced for plenty of post-season interest.

He said: ‘Yes, I expect interest in Jed this summer.

‘When you score 16 goals from midfield you are going to attract interest, of course you are, and over his career it is an average of one in four.

‘Jed’s performances and goals will definitely get interest from other clubs but he is our player, that is up to us.

‘He is contracted so he is our player at the moment.

‘It is not for me to decide to sell him, I will have a say in it but as a club we have to make that decision if the right bid comes.

‘We will discuss it at the end of the season. At the moment there are five games left to play and if he stays fit and in form he will play in all of them.

‘So let’s see how many goals he can get, how many points we can get and try to finish as high up the table as we can and then address that in the summer.

‘But I know the transfer talk wouldn’t affect him, that is the type of lad he is.’

Victory over play-off hopefuls Argyle was well deserved for Awford’s men on the back of a vastly-improved second-half showing.

Yet just like at Brunton Park, it was Wallace who sparked his team into life.

His left-foot finish from 20-yards to break the deadlock was timed at 53 seconds after the interval.

Ryan Taylor also netted, before substitute Olly Lee pulled one back to keep the Fratton faithful on the edge of their seats for the remainder of the match.

Wallace has a reputation for spectacular Pompey goals – and for Awford the latest was a worthy addition.

He added: ‘It was a wonderful finish.

‘He has got that in his locker to spark the game, he can do special things and his last two finishes – Carlisle and Plymouth – were special. No goalie is stopping either.

‘I thought he was quiet in the first half, as quiet as he has probably been.

‘We played him on the left of the three in behind Ryan like we did on Friday and he can do that role.

‘To get 16 goals from midfield with five games to go is fantastic for the lad and his overall contribution in the second half after a quiet first half was very good.’