Awford: Give the credit to players

The under-repair South stand will not be used for the Bournemouth friendly. Picture: Colin Farmery

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ANDY AWFORD called for Pompey to deliver a final survival charge and vowed: It’s down to the players.

The Blues could secure their place in the Football League against Bristol Rovers tomorrow, if results go their way.

Pompey caretaker boss Andy Awford  Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey caretaker boss Andy Awford Picture: Joe Pepler

A win for Northampton over Wycombe today and victory for Awford’s side against Rovers would be enough to guarantee their place in League Two.

That’s the case because Rovers and Wycombe, who are both below Pompey in the table, play each other next weekend.

A superb turnaround in fortunes following Awford’s appointment as caretaker boss has taken the side to the brink of safety, with three wins in three.

Awford is playing down his impact, however, and putting the focus on his team for delivering the results.

Now he is demanding another push at what is expected to be a sell-out home crowd tomorrow.

Awford said: ‘The players deserve the credit.

‘It’s not all of it because the fans deserve credit.

‘But if you’re asking whether it’s me or the players – it’s the players.

‘We’ve asked them to do certain things and they’ve delivered.

‘They’ve been brilliant. They’ve made a massive stride – they now just need to get it over the line.

‘I’ve come in with fresh ideas.

‘But if they can’t deliver it, it doesn’t matter what I say, does it!

‘They deserve huge credit.

‘It’s not just the 11, it’s the whole group – injured players, fit players and the staff.

‘It’s from the bottom to the top – everyone deserves massive credit for the past three games.

‘But there’s still work to do. I’m not letting it let up.’

Awford’s appointment has seen him galvanise both players and fans when it was needed most this season.

He admitted he has made changes but feels the team deserve kudos for their execution.

Awford said: ‘They’ve played to instruction and they’ve worked hard.

‘They’ve created a spirit themselves in the dressing room – and it’s worked.

‘We’ve given them some ideas and guided them.

‘But playing to instruction is a massive thing.

‘I know myself when you are asked to do something by a manager, you do it.

‘Me and the staff have asked them to do certain things and they’ve delivered – 100 per cent.

‘I can’t give them enough credit.

‘There is not a bad apple among them.

‘If there was they’d have sorted it out anyway.

‘They have been a pleasure to work with.

‘Guy (Whittingham) put together a squad and Richie (Barker) added to it.

‘I was fortunate to inherit some good players I’ve been able to guide and get them playing with a smile.

‘They’ve had a bit more freedom and it’s worked – but it has to continue.’