Awford backs Westcarr to keep on scoring

Pompey goal-hero Craig Westcarr takes the congratulations. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey goal-hero Craig Westcarr takes the congratulations. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss points to lack of cutting edge

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Andy Awford believes the goals will keep flowing for Craig Westcarr after the striker roared back to form.

The former Walsall man netted once and created another as Pompey enjoyed a 3-0 success over Carlisle on Saturday.

It was the first time Westcarr had scored for almost two months – a barren run of eight games.

The out-of-sorts striker was dropped to the bench for two matches last month as he struggled to win over supporters.

Yet after returning when Awford introduced the 4-4-2 system, the Blues boss believes he is proving his worth.

He said: ‘I am pleased for Craig, he has worked his socks off in previous games and on Saturday his overall performance was great.

‘He has gone a little while without scoring – and he is a goalscorer.

‘We brought him to score goals and he will score goals, I have no doubt about that.

‘Craig is a good player, he really is. He has that touch of class about him and is working his absolute socks off now to do the horrible side of the game.

‘I gave him a breather a few games ago but brought him back in for the 
Stevenage game.

‘At Shrewsbury he did well with his effort and work-rate, although it didn’t quite come off for him in some areas at Shrewsbury.

‘On Saturday, he was effective and it was a real centre-forward’s goal – it came off the keeper and he knocked it in.

‘Some people tell me what I am good at is the man- management side of it, and at that point I felt he needed a breather because it was getting on top of him a little bit.

‘He played lots of games for us at the start of the season.

‘And I thought it was time to give him a breather.

‘I knew he would go back in and do well for us and he has done fantastically well.’

Westcarr’s goal against Carlisle, after just 80 seconds of the match at Fratton Park, took his tally to four in 15 matches so far this season.

He then produced a sublime cross for Danny Hollands to grab the Blues’ third in the 74th minute.

The 29-year-old received a standing ovation from the Fratton faithful after being replaced by Ryan Taylor five minutes later.

But Awford denied the striker previously suffered with a lack of confidence.

He added: ‘I think Craig is a very good player, he never shies away from anything.

‘They all play better when they have confidence, that goes without saying, but I wouldn’t say he is a confidence player.

‘He is a very good player and never, ever gives you anything other than 100 per cent.

‘He also has that touch of class about him – as we saw at Yeovil – and has that little bit of difference.

‘And on Saturday the front four – the two up front and the wide players – did fantastically well and didn’t give their back four a minute’s peace.’

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