Awford deal imminent but no Guy return

Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler

Talks over appointing Andy Awford as new Pompey boss are continuing.

The board want the 41-year-old to take charge on a permanent basis following his outstanding second spell as caretaker manager.

Yesterday, Awford held more talks at Fratton Park with chief executive Mark Catlin and finance director Tony Brown.

Backroom staff, budgets and the make-up of the Academy are high on the list of items to resolve as an agreement is neared.

Pompey are hopeful of unveiling Awford and his new set-up before Saturday’s visit of Plymouth.

However, Guy Whittingham is not being considered for a role, despite his exit from Crawley as first-team coach.

Instead, Paul Hardyman and Alan McLoughlin will retain key positions at Fratton Park, with Awford keen to keep their expertise by his side.

Speaking at last night’s launch of the Pompey Lottery, Awford said: ‘There’s no rush, Saturday is our sole focus at the moment.

‘If there is some sort of agreement before Saturday then fantastic.

‘If not then don’t worry about it. We will make sure we do right for the football club.’

Meanwhile, Whittingham continues to be linked with a Fratton Park return following his November exit as manager. But the Blues Hall-of-Famer has reiterated nothing is on the cards.

Whittingham said: ‘I’ve got a couple of irons in the fire, but not as far as Portsmouth is concerned.

‘You never say never. When I left, the chief executive said he wouldn’t be surprised to see me back one day. But I’ve not had any contact from them and I don’t expect there to be.’