Awford: No surpise over Butler form

Dan Butler. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dan Butler. Picture: Joe Pepler
Sonny Bradley, right, will face his old side this weekend. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Rejuvenated Dan Butler is displaying his Pompey worth once again.

And Andy Awford believes supporters shouldn’t be surprised over the 20-year-old’s impressive early-season form.

The left-back started in place of calf-injury victim Nicky Shorey against Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.

Butler responded with another polished performance as the Blues ran out 3-0 winners.

He has also been part of Awford’s sides who have beaten Peterborough and Yeovil in the cups so far.

It’s a contrasting start from the last campaign when Butler was left out of Guy Whittingham’s team following the first two matches.

Now he is back in the first-team fold and has produced encouraging displays in his four starts and three substitute appearances so far this season.

Awford said: ‘Dan Butler came in against Dagenham and did great again.

‘Don’t be surprised at Dan Butler’s performance, do not be surprised, I’ll tell you that now.

‘Every game he has played he has not done much wrong.

‘I am delighted for him, he has done really well.

‘He didn’t play for us at the end of last season because we had what we had. We were winning games so there was no need to change it.

‘But he is a valuable member of the squad doing really well.

‘As full-backs, he and Alex Wynter are more comfortable going forward than defending the back post.

‘Dan does that job really well for us.’

Meanwhile, Jed Wallace netted from the penalty spot against the Daggers for his fifth goal of the campaign.

It had developed into a frustrating evening for the midfielder, who was not at his best in a Blues shirt.

Nonetheless, he still weighed in with a goal and then set up Andy Barcham for the third in stoppage time.

Wallace is currently Pompey’s top scorer.

And Awford was impressed with his bravery to step up for the penalty.

He added: ‘Jed got a bit of confidence from the penalty.

‘Fair play to him, by his own admission he probably wasn’t having one of his better nights but he’s there and wants to score and wants to take it.

‘That’s five for the season for him now, he is important to us.’

The 20-year-old has now netted 18 goals in 83 matches for Pompey.

– NEIL ALLEN