Awford: Blues can strike fear factor

Jack Whatmough, centre, was gaffer for a day Josh Sweetmans Pompey man of the match from Saturdays draw against Walsall

Pompey 1 Walsall 1: Gaffer for a day

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Andy Awford believes Pompey will be the fear factor for the rest of League Two when they finally click into top gear.

The Blues boss agrees that his team has underachieved this season as they sit in 14th place – eight points off the play-off places – going into tomorrow’s League Two trip to Cheltenham.

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

But while he is well aware Pompey have yet to find the consistency they crave, he has total belief it will happen.

And he is also confident that will have a major bearing on the teams which are currently blazing the trail at the top of the division.

Awford said: ‘I won’t dress it up – we want to be a lot higher.

‘We’re not out of touch. We still have 26 games left and there are still a load of points to play for. There is no doom and gloom, no crisis and we’re not asking “what are we going to do?”

‘We know what we have to do but we just need to do it more consistently.

‘We’ve had great performances and we’ve had rubbish performances.

‘We are 20 games in and we should be doing better than we are.

‘But we will. I have massive faith it will happen.

‘And if I was sat at the top end of the league as a manager of another football club and we started getting on a run, I would be thinking “here they come”.

‘Everyone is expecting it because of who we are and what we are.

‘When that happens, it will go boom. The fear factor will kick into other clubs as well.

‘But at the moment, the fear factor isn’t there because of our spikes in form.

‘When we get that consistency, others will think “here we go, Pompey are getting it together”.

‘When it kicks in, it will take off. I’m convinced of that.’

Rather than being frustrated in seeing a number of false starts from his men, Awford remains fired up at the prospect.

He said: ‘There are times when I’ve thought “here we go, this is it now” and then bang, it happens again.

‘In some games, we have been excellent. I look at the performances against Morecambe and Carlisle.

‘Then we haven’t been able to sustain that and that’s been the disappointing factor.

‘We are all to blame for that. There are no sloping shoulders or excuses.

‘But it excites me because I know it will come, like we did last season and like we did at the start of the season.

‘As we all know, it grows at Pompey and you get to a point where you smash down barriers.

‘At the moment, we’re finding it difficult to find that momentum because it’s been so up and down.

‘Once we get going and find that consistency, it will happen.

‘There’s no reason why it can’t start against Cheltenham and then take that on to Wimbledon and Luton.’