Awford praises Butler response

Dan Butler. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dan Butler. Picture: Joe Pepler
Oli Hawkins was on defensive duties against Blackpool on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey fans debate Hawkins’ best position

  • Butler impresses on return to side after two-match omission
  • Left-back has made 30 appearances this season
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Andy Awford has praised Dan Butler’s response after his Pompey first-team omission.

The left-back found himself making way for loanee arrival Cole Kpekawa at the end of last month.

I’m not so sure Dan has had a blip, I took the decision to take him out of the firing line for a couple of games because I felt he needed that

Andy Awford

But after two matches as an unused substitute, the 20-year-old was given a recall for the trip to Carlisle.

Butler was involved in the build-up which led to Jed Wallace’s cross picking out Matt Tubbs at the far post in the 2-2 draw.

He followed it up against Plymouth with the delivery which resulted in Ryan Taylor heading home Pompey’s second.

That proved decisive in a 2-1 victory over the play-off contenders.

And Awford is delighted with how Butler has reacted since returning to the side.

He said: ‘That is two great balls from Dan in the last two games now.

‘There was the fantastic pass down the line against Carlisle which allowed Jed to cross for Tubbsy, then the lovely delivery against Plymouth for Ryan to finish emphatically.

‘That is the response I knew I would get from Dan, I have known him for a long time so was pleased.

‘I’m not so sure Dan has had a blip, I took the decision to take him out of the firing line for a couple of games because I felt he needed that.

‘He is still a young lad and I felt it was best for his overall play and for us as a team.

‘That was the decision that was taken and he has come back very strongly in the last two games and done very well in two decent team performances.’

The Isle of Wight youngster has made 30 appearances for Pompey during the current campaign, having been given a run in the side.

Butler is out of contract in the summer, although Awford has admitted talks have taken place over a fresh deal.