Awford: My Pompey positivity is no front

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

It’s a refreshing brand of positive thinking which has lifted a whole football club and its fans.

For bubbling Andy Awford, though, there is nothing manufactured about his successful approach which has retained Football League status.

Pompey head to Bury tomorrow seeking a sixth successive win as the season reaches its finale.

With safety now assured, it’s the opportunity to end an often torturous campaign on a high note. Certainly the club is buoyant at present during a magnificent run which saw them safe with three games to spare.

Awford had no such fears of tumbling into non-league football, however.

He was always positive there would be a triumphant outcome.

He said: ‘I am a positive person. My glass is always half-full, I am that type of person.

‘I don’t let too many things get me down, there’s enough bad things in the world to worry about.

‘When I’m at work I am lucky to be in an industry that I love. I don’t take that for granted either.

‘I had a little spell out and know what it is like out there as well, so maybe that helped a little bit.

‘I am lucky to be in the industry at the football club I love, that’s fantastic for me and makes me positive.

‘If I can’t be positive, what chance have the fans and players got of being positive?

‘You have to be positive, it’s not a front either, it’s not fake, I actually believed when asked if we could stay in the league.’

As caretaker boss, Awford deserves immense credit for keeping Pompey up.

Yet at one point he was mooted as Richie Barker’s assistant, while he also failed in an earlier interview for the top job back in December.

Awford is in charge now, though. An inspired decision by the board.

He added: ‘There was a little bit of talk about that (being assistant to Barker) but that is for other people to talk about.

‘That was suggested at one point to me but that is for other people to make those decisions, not me.

‘I also turned down the opportunity at the start of the season to work with Guy (Whittingham) for my own reasons, some of which will remain private.

‘Guy left and I went for an interview but I actually think it was better we went for an outsider at that point and I can understand why the club did.

‘Then with Richie leaving, it took me two seconds to make my mind up and it’s nice to be wanted – but it is a heck of a job.’