Awford: It’s great news Wynter’s here

Alex Wynter is unveiled at Fratton Park yesterday. Picture: Sarah Standing (141987-6071)
Alex Wynter is unveiled at Fratton Park yesterday. Picture: Sarah Standing (141987-6071)
Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey striker ‘fit’ to face Pilgrims

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Andy Awford has pinpointed Alex Wynter’s flexibility as the driving force behind his Pompey arrival.

But the Blues boss insists he knows precisely where in his defence the 20-year-old will feature.

The Crystal Palace youngster yesterday landed at Fratton Park on a season-long loan.

Wynter represented Colchester at the end of last season, turning out at both left and right back as well as his favoured centre-half role during a six-game spell.

It is that precious versatility which prompted Awford to swoop for the Croydon-born player.

In particular he will increase competition at right-back and in the centre of defence.

Although the Pompey boss does have one specific role lined up for his latest recruit.

Awford said: ‘Alex’s flexibility really appealed, that really helps.

‘I have an idea of where his best position is.

‘But if I need him to slot into two or three other positions then he can.

‘Some players are pigeon-holed as centre halves or right wingers, well he certainly isn’t that and gives us a lot of versatility across the whole defensive line.

‘I saw him twice last year – as a centre half and left-back – and he was on the list of players that if they became available we would try to do something with.

‘We got a nod that he might be available late last week and had to move quickly.

‘He is young, wants to learn, but is not the finished article, otherwise he would be staying at Crystal Palace.

‘But it’s a good learning experience for him and we thank Palace for letting him come.

‘I see him in the back four. If Dan Butler and Nicky Shorey are both out he can slot in at left-back, if I want him to play at centre half he can.

‘He can play in the centre of midfield at a push – but predominantly he will play in a defensive role for us.

‘We will have a look at him in one or two positions in pre-season and see how we go.

‘I have my own ideas but I am not going to spill out too much. I have an idea in my own head where I see him fitting in.

‘There is a lot of competition for a lot of places, no player is guaranteed of a starting role and that’s how I want it – and I know where I see Alex up for consideration.’

Wynter will today train with his new team-mates for the first time.

Meanwhile, Awford has dismissed links with former Huddersfield midfielder Chris Atkinson.

The 22-year-old, who spent time on loan with Tranmere and Bradford last season, is a free agent following his release this summer.

He added: ‘There is nothing in that, I haven’t spoken to Chris or his agent.

‘He is a player that I know and have seen play but there is no interest in him at the minute.’