Dunne delights Pompey boss

James Dunne. Picture: Joe Pepler
James Dunne. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Andy Awford toasted the first-team return of James Dunne.

And he admitted Pompey are still attempting to curb his regular accumulation of yellow cards.

The combative midfielder will feature against Southend United on Saturday following last weekend’s successful comeback.

Dunne managed 73 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Burton Albion – the game representing his first start since November 1 against Carlisle.

Inevitably there was the customary yellow card, his seventh booking of the campaign.

But it remained a man-of-the-match display from the popular 25-year-old, who is a key Pompey presence.

Awford said: ‘On Saturday, from James we saw what we have missed.

‘He was fantastic, especially to have been out for that long and then go and put in a performance like that.

‘He fan out of fuel in the end and could hardly run off the pitch, let alone run around any more.

‘James got his regular booking, which we are trying to curb. But that is the way he plays, you have to put up with that.

‘At one point he got a whack on the back of the ankle and the first thought was “Oh gosh” but he will be fine, that won’t cause many problems for this weekend.

‘I am delighted to get him back in there again.’

Dunne was ruled out for eight matches from the start of November after undergoing a knee operation.

He returned as a substitute for the 1-1 draw at Luton and also climbed off the bench in the narrow defeat at Newport County.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw with high-flying Burton was the former Stevenage man’s first start in the last 11 games.