Eagle lends Awfs an ear

Former Pompey boss Jim Smith
Former Pompey boss Jim Smith
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett has been looking for the right blend of youth and experience. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss bidding for right blend

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JIM SMITH has been offering Andy Awford counsel as he makes his way as Pompey manager.

Awford has been seeking advice from the former Blues boss after taking on the caretaker role at Fratton Park.

Smith remains one of the club’s most popular managers after guiding Pompey to the FA Cup semi-final in 1992 – and missing out on promotion to the Premier League by a single goal the following year.

And he has been offering his experience to his old charge.

Smith made Awford a key part of his side when he turned to the young talent at the club after his arrival in 1991.

He later worked with him in the first-team set-up after returning as Harry Redknapp’s assistant in 2002, as Pompey stormed to the division one title.

Smith then took Awford to Oxford as first-team coach when he was in charge at the Kassam Stadium.

The pair have remained good friends, after Smith headed into retirement.

And Awford has been using the man known as the Bald Eagle as a sounding board since assuming control of the Pompey first team.

That has given him a boost, as well as offering reassurance, as he makes a strong impression.

Awford said: ‘I spoke to Jim Smith during the week, the gaffer!

‘He was brilliant with me.

‘I told him about Dagenham & Redbridge hitting the post twice last weekend.

‘He told me the best ingredient is for the best manager to be a lucky manager. It’s true.

‘We had our little bit of luck last weekend.

‘But Jim went on to say you earn that luck.

‘He said it sounded like we’d earned that luck, and he was right.

‘So we need to keep that going.

‘It was nice to hear that from him.’