Awford: Miles in a rush to impress

Pompey striker Miles Storey Picture: Mick Young

Pompey striker Miles Storey Picture: Mick Young

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Andy Awford is convinced the pace of Miles Storey can add a different dimension to his Pompey attack.

The loanee from Swindon was handed his Blues debut in the 4-0 pre-season success over the Hawks at the weekend.

It was a cameo off the bench which lasted 28 minutes, yet the fleet-footed youngster provided a glimpse of what he can offer.

Initially serving as a central striker before moving to the right flank, Storey demonstrated his versatility as a forward.

But it is his speed which Awford believes is the primary asset he offers to Pompey’s play.

And the Blues boss is relishing seeing the 20-year-old is action in the League Two campaign ahead.

‘I wouldn’t call our attacking players slow,’ said Awford.

‘Wes Fogden – when fit – runs around like many don’t, Jed Wallace is quick, Ricky Holmes is quick, Andy Barcham is quick, Ryan Taylor is an out-and-out number nine, while Craig Westcarr has good pace.

‘I wouldn’t say we were slow – but Miles gives you that extra burst.

‘He has got pace to burn, bags of it, he is quick and I am looking forward to him using that pace out there.

‘He is very direct in his play, he wants to get in behind, and whether he plays wide or through the middle he wants to stretch teams and use that pace.

‘I was a defender and not blessed with too much pace – as we all know – so when you play against pace it is always a difficult thing to deal with.

‘If that means teams sit deeper against us because we’ve got some pace then that will open up other areas of the pitch as well.

‘If I want Miles to play up top on his own I can, if I want to play him alongside a big man I can, if I want to play him wide and we look to expose a certain area of the pitch through his pace I can.

‘If I need him to come off the bench late on I can, and when things are getting a bit more open and players starting to get fatigued I can.

‘There are lots of options with him and I am looking forward to seeing what he can do.’

A season-long loan at Fratton Park will offer Storey the stability to challenge for a first-team spot.

Having endured a so far fitful spell at Swindon and short loan moves at Salisbury and Shrewsbury, there is the opportunity for regular football.

Only nine of his 35 appearances for the Robins have come as starts – and Awford is looking to give the striker a chance.

He added: ‘He has been out on loan at a few clubs.

‘The majority of his appearances for Swindon have been substitutes, but he started a few at the end of last season up front.

‘He is 20, he’s still young, he’s still developing, so hopefully we can help that development and he can aid our development as well.’

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