Awfs’ pride in a job well done

Alan McLoughlin, Andy Awford and Paul Hardyman are all smiles at the end of a rollercoaster League Two season Picture: Joe Pepler
Alan McLoughlin, Andy Awford and Paul Hardyman are all smiles at the end of a rollercoaster League Two season Picture: Joe Pepler
Theo Widdrington. Picture: Sarah Standing (170841-4476)

Pompey midfielder out to turn Jackett’s head

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Andy Awford shrugged off any disappointment at seeing Pompey concede a late equaliser as he revealed his pride in the Blues revival.

The newly-installed permanent boss saw Danny Hollands’ hat-trick cancelled out as Plymouth Argyle snatched a late point with Conor Hourihane’s 89th-minute effort.

But Awford preferred to keep things in perspective with the job of avoiding the drop from League Two already done as Pompey finished in 13th place.

Awford said: ‘We would have taken 13th.

‘To be honest, I’d have bitten your hand off for 22nd when I came in.

‘If someone had told me we would finish 22nd and avoid relegation when I first took over, I would have said “wrap the season up now”.

‘But it’s been a terrific few weeks. I’m proud of what has been achieved.

‘Five wins and two draws was beyond anybody’s wildest dreams.

‘Everybody around the club – the staff, the players, the board, the supporters, the businesses – and the whole city have played a major part in that and “well done” to everybody.

‘It’s been an adventure and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

‘I’m knackered so I have no idea what it will be like after a whole season!’

Awford has little chance for a breather as he starts to build next season’s squad this week with Hollands among his priorities to agree a deal.

He said: ‘We were focused on the game but those conversations will now take place with all of the players.

‘Of course, Danny will be one we want to keep.

‘He has been excellent for us and I’m not going to try to fool anyone. We want him here for next season.’