Shock Ertl return pleases Pompey boss

Johnny Ertl impressed on his return to action for Pompey in the Blues' 1-1 draw at Luton    Picture: Joe Pepler
Johnny Ertl impressed on his return to action for Pompey in the Blues' 1-1 draw at Luton Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey and Fulham drew 3-3. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss disappointed not to get victory

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Pompey boss Andy Awford praised the impact of Johnny Ertl following the Blues’ impressive Kenilworth Road point.

The Austrian was given a shock recall to Awford’s side for yesterday’s trip having failed to start the previous 11 matches.

Ertl hadn’t even made a first-team appearance since the 3-2 home victory over Stevenage on October 21.

But with illness claiming Danny Hollands, the 32-year-old partnered Marcus Bean in the centre of midfield against Luton.

He turned in a star show in the 1-1 draw, with 1,021 visiting supporters chanting ‘There’s only one Johnny Ertl’ after the final whistle.

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And Awford was delighted with the popular player’s contribution.

He said: ‘Last season when I took over, Johnny hadn’t played at all for 11 games and I put him straight into the team at Newport.

‘This season, the last game he played was in October but you know what you are going to get with Johnny and I just felt that was what was required after the Boxing Day performance.

‘I looked at it and we needed a Johnny Ertl in there for Luton – and that is exactly what he gave us.

‘As a team it is easy to pinpoint Johnny because he hasn’t played for so long, but he would still have played like that if he’d been in the team for the last three games.

‘As a unit we were tight, thorough, dogged and determined and I was pleased with the work ethic from everyone.’

Ertl, who was not in the squad against AFC Wimbledon, has now made 81 Pompey appearances.