Awford shrugs off selection gamble

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Andy Awford dismissed the suggestion that it was a gamble to ring the changes as Pompey continued their bright start to the new season.

The Blues boss made four changes to the side that beat Cambridge at the weekend with Miles Storey, Danny Hollands and Jack Whatmough surprisingly left out alongside the suspended Adam Webster.

But Joe Devera, Ben Chorley, Ricky Holmes and Craig Westcarr all impressed after being handed starts as Pompey sealed a convincing 2-0 win over Northampton.

It saw the Blues climb up to fourth place in the early League Two standings with Awford pleased with the strength in depth at his disposal.

Awford said: ‘I didn’t see it as a gamble.

‘There are so many games, I would be a bit silly if I didn’t rotate the squad because it’s so strong.

‘If we only had 15 or 16 good players, then we would keep going with that but I’ve got 25-odd.

‘I think we have got it right, in the main.

‘If we hadn’t won the game, I might have been answering different questions.

‘At the moment, I’m making the changes and the level doesn’t drop. If anything, it has gone up a notch.’

While Awford insists he is not making changes for the sake of it, he admits he may opt for more continuity when the run of fixtures is less hectic.

He said: ‘There will be more temptation to leave the team alone when we don’t have midweek games.

‘The players will get the recovery time and you can get them rested.

‘But when the games are thick and fast like this, I don’t see the logic in playing the same 11 because they will break.’