Awford recalls his red card lesson

MISTAKE Adam Webster was sent off during Saturday's 2-1 win against Cambridge on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
MISTAKE Adam Webster was sent off during Saturday's 2-1 win against Cambridge on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Andy Awford cast his mind back to his own red card misery and backed Adam Webster to learn from his mistake.

The Blues boss picked up four red cards in his playing days and knows exactly how his young defender is feeling after he was sent off in the 2-1 win over Cambridge.

But Awford recalled the only dismissal of his career at Fratton Park as a similar experience to Webster and has now tasked the 19-year-old to use the experience wisely.

Awford said: ‘I got sent off four times in my career – two of them were deserved.

‘It happens. But it’s how you recover from that and how you make sure it doesn’t happen again too soon.

‘The one that stands out was against Manchester City at Fratton Park.

‘The little Georgian fella, Georgi Kinkladze, was a little bit too quick for me, shall we say!

‘It was silly of me. I had been booked, which I felt was harsh, for a tackle on Uwe Rosler.

‘I had six studs down the inside of my leg and I was the one who got booked.

‘But once I had been booked, it was a bit silly to go to ground on Kinkladze the way I did.

‘It was very similar because we ended up winning the game 2-1 as well.

‘Aaron Flahavan, God bless him, made a save in the last minute to win us the game.

‘It still doesn’t make you feel any better.

‘I felt pretty low for a couple of days.

‘I didn’t apologise to anyone after it happened – I just kept my head down and tried to stay out of the way.

‘You learn from that, though.’

Alex Wynter, who returned to training yesterday, appears to be the most likely to step in if he is declared fit after his head injury against Peterborough.

But Joe Devera is also pushing for a start after performing well when he came on as a substitute against Cambridge.

Awford admitted: ‘When it happened to me, the biggest worry was losing your place in the team.

‘It’s the same for Adam. There is competition all over the pitch so it’s up to him to work hard and get back in.

‘The result didn’t make any difference. Whether we’d won 6-0 or lost 6-0, he’s got to learn quickly.

‘It doesn’t matter if he’s 28 or 19, everyone makes mistakes. I make mistakes and everybody else does, too.

‘Thankfully, his mistake didn’t cost us but I will pick him up when he needs picking up.’

Webster, who is banned for one game, will feature for a Pompey XI at a friendly with non-league neighbours Hawks tomorrow night (7.30pm).

Awford is keen to use the fixture to give a game to some of his fringe players who need some match sharpness. Admission is £5.