Vote of confidence boosts Awford

Andy Awford is to remain as Pompey boss following a vote of confidence.

The Blues’ board of directors yesterday agreed to keep their faith in the under-fire manager.

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

It was an emphatic display of backing for the man they appointed 10 months earlier to massive approval of the Fratton faithful.

Since then Pompey have slumped into 18th spot and face the prospect of failing to reach the board’s play-off target.

But yesterday afternoon the seven directors decided to stick with Awford.

It is understood Pompey’s upturn in form, starting with the trip to Luton, was a key consideration in the debate.

That gutsy showing was followed by a controversial defeat at Newport and then second-placed Burton snatching a Fratton Park equaliser seven minutes from time.

Last weekend the Blues suffered a 2-1 loss against another promotion-chasing side in Southend, having taken the lead.

Although only two points were collected during that period, those performances have provided sufficient encouragement to Pompey’s hierarchy.

Another aspect in Awford’s favour was the make-up of forthcoming fixtures.

Once Wycombe have been visited this weekend, February throws up matches against Hartlepool, Dagenham & Redbridge, Exeter, Cambridge, Tranmere and Oxford.

Of that opposition on the horizon, three currently occupy the bottom four spots in League Two.

In addition, four of those matches are at Fratton Park, with trips to the Daggers and Cambridge.

Considering the last four fixtures have been against the top six – plus top-of-the-table Wycombe on Saturday – February offers more opportunity to pick up results.

There remains optimism within the Blues board it can be the month to provide the crucial platform for a surge up the table.

Awford yesterday missed the reserves’ 1-1 draw with AFC Wimbledon as he awaited news on his future.

The 42-year-old remained at the Copnor Road training base until he was informed.

Meetings then continued into early evening as the club plotted a way forwards.

Earlier in the day, Iain McInnes, Mark Catlin and Mike Dyer were among those who met at lawyers Verisona’s Lakeside office.

Discussions centred on Awford’s future with all directors putting forward their opinion on the issue which continues to divide fans.

The outcome is the Pompey Hall of Famer retaining his position for the foreseeable future.

The news was not welcomed by all Blues followers, with some calling for Awford’s dismissal.

Regardless, the board have granted the boss more time to achieve the levels of success they believe him capable.