Pompey boss lauds ‘winner’ signing

New Pompey goalkeeper Paul Jones
New Pompey goalkeeper Paul Jones
Pompey midfielder Ben Close Picture: Joe Pepler

Gaffer: Pompey better with Close in the middle

0
Have your say

Andy Awford has saluted the ‘winner’ he believes can inspire his Pompey troops.

Paul Jones represents Pompey’s sole new face so far, following his capture from Crawley on a three-year deal.

Awford has developed a high regard for the keeper’s ability, having watched him in action several times last season.

In addition, he believes the 27-year-old’s impressive honours list can be just as influential in the long-term progress of the Blues.

Jones has so far won two promotions with Exeter and one with Peterborough in his career – and made no secret he wants to savour plenty more success following his Fratton Park switch.

And Awford is hoping that golden touch can aid his side.

‘Paul’s a winner. He has won things at other clubs and it has to be positive to have that mentality in a dressing room,’ said Awford.

‘You look at his record and he is quite experienced at 27 and has achieved success. People like that can rub off on others around them.

‘This is a massive club and we have got an opportunity to try to rebuild it – the board, the fans, the players – and it starts here.

‘I think Paul is one that can come with us on our journey and I have explained that to him. He is up for it.

‘I want hungry, young players who want to play for this football club.

‘He has made it clear to me he fits that bill and I get a good vibe off him.

‘He’s a player still improving and wants to continue that way so, hopefully, as we progress we can do it together.’

Loanee Danny Hollands, Jed Wallace and Nicky Shorey have also signed Blues deals this summer as Awford sets out his plans.

The trio all impressed last term and were out of contract this summer but have agreed to stay on at Fratton Park.

Pompey are also tracking Nigel Atangana, having held talks with the highly-rated Hawks midfielder.

They require the green light from the Football League if they are to pay a transfer fee for the Frenchman, who is contracted at Westleigh Park for another 12 months.

In the meantime, an attacking midfielder, striking options and another goalkeeper are on Awford’s agenda.

In terms of goalkeepers, Trevor Carson and Jamie Ashdown are no longer a consideration following Jones’ arrival.

And in Jones himself, Pompey’s boss is confident he has recruited a keeper with excellent ability.

He added: ‘Paul is a good goalkeeper. I’ve had my eye on him a little while and watched him two or three times this year. I also knew about him before that.

‘I have got reports about him from people whose opinion I trust in the game and they rate him as well.

‘He ticks the boxes for me that I want in a goalkeeper and I’m looking forward to working with him.’