Pompey players warned as loan chase continues

No Pompey player is guaranteed a spot in tomorrow's side. Picture: Joe Pepler
No Pompey player is guaranteed a spot in tomorrow's side. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s underachievers have been warned: No-one is guaranteed of a place against Morecambe.

And Blues boss Andy Awford is desperate for at least one loan recruit to arrive before tomorrow’s crucial fixture.

For the first-time in the club’s 116-year history, they have been eliminated from the FA Cup by a non-league team.

Aldershot Town claimed a famous 1-0 victory on Wednesday night against a Blues team already the subject of four changes from the side which lost to Plymouth Argyle.

Awford will once again be without hamstring injury victim Joe Devera, along with James Dunne, Adam Webster, Wes Fogden, Tom Craddock and Danny East.

For the remainder of the squad it is as you were, although Pompey’s boss is currently seeking loan reinforcements ahead of the Shrimps’ visit.

A midfielder and striker are among the areas which desperately need strengthening if the Blues are to lift themselves out of their current malaise.

In the meantime, those existing squad players have been told not to get too comfortable in their positions.

Awford said: ‘Not one of them can guarantee being on the team sheet tomorrow – good luck to the Morecambe manager guessing my team.

‘I just asked them that in the dressing room after Aldershot, I said “Does anyone think they deserve to be on the team sheet?” because if they do they are kidding themselves.

‘Not one player in the dressing room from Wednesday deserves the right to play tomorrow.

‘Of course I have to pick some of them, I can’t make 11 changes. But not one of them deserves another opportunity.

‘It’s not good enough, we have got to change something and I will. It is my job to make sure we are better.’

Meanwhile, Awford has accused his players of being in a Fratton Park comfort zone.

A new training ground has almost been completed to bolster facilities for the Blues, as well as provide an alternative base during the week.

But the Blues boss is concerned there is an undercurrent of contentment among the players which is hampering attempts at progression.

‘I think it’s too comfortable for them,’ added Awford.

‘They come in every day, are treated really well and of course they should be treated well, everybody should. You are a human being.

‘But I think there is too much comfort, people are in comfort zones.

‘I don’t think people are wanting to get out of that comfort zone. It is always someone else’s fault but it isn’t, it’s your fault.

‘You have got to do more.’