Awford: Now Pompey must go again

Andy Awford has challenged his Pompey side to dust themselves down and embark on another unbeaten stretch.

The Blues’ impressive seven-match run without defeat was halted by former player Ricky Holmes last night.

The winger struck in the 25th minute to give Northampton the only goal of the hard-fought and tight affair at the Sixfields Stadium.

Not since January 24 against Southend had Pompey tasted defeat.

Next they head to Accrington Stanley on Saturday seeking to maintain their slim chance of sneaking into the play-offs.

And Awford has urged his troops to bounce back in the best possible manner.

Andy Awford, left. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford, left. Picture: Joe Pepler

He said: ‘We have got to go on another run, put another spell together and try to keep climbing the table. That is all we can do.

‘It’s no point us feeling sorry for ourselves. We have been on a lovely little run and have a lot of games coming up in March.

‘We want a good points total from that as well.

‘We have got to dust ourselves down and go again Saturday and be positive and remain positive and get a good result at Accrington.

It’s no point us feeling sorry for ourselves. We have been on a lovely little run and have a lot of games coming up in March.

Andy Awford

‘Performance levels were good again.

‘It is a fine line and last night we were the wrong side of it, maybe on other occasions we have been the right side of it recently.

‘I am a little bit disappointed with the goal, we switched off and I am a little bit disappointed we haven’t taken something from the game with the amount of final-third entries and the possession we had.

‘Now we go again and aim for another good run.’

Defeat means Pompey drop down to 13th spot, nine points adrift of the League Two play-offs.

With relegation no longer a concern, sights are trained higher up the table and Awford requires another good sustained run of results.

Although, plenty of aspects surrounding last night’s performance did please him – irrespective of the scoreline.

He added: ‘I thought it was a good game.

‘We’ve had some really good games lately which we have managed to win or draw.

‘It was between two good sides but we created a lot of chances.

‘I don’t think Paul Jones has had anything to do in the second half.

‘Fair play to Northampton, they have dug in and defended resolutely and headed one off the line while one from Tubbs first half was a wonderful save.

‘We have had a right go and sometimes it goes and sometimes it doesn’t, unfortunate it didn’t against Northampton.

‘However, I told the players afterwards, I can’t knock their effort and their desire. They had a right go.

‘Northampton saw it out professionally but when you have the amount of possession and ball we had in the second half we were a bit disappointed we haven’t been able to score.’