Awford: Westcarr will deliver

Pompey striker Craig Westcarr Picture; Joe Pepler
Pompey striker Craig Westcarr Picture; Joe Pepler
Pompey manager Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett’s Pompey transfer promise

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Craig Westcarr has been backed to find his way back on the goal trail.

The Pompey striker, who joined the club from Walsall in the summer, has netted three times in 11 appearances for the club so far.

But the front man has not scored in League Two since his winner at Oxford on August 23.

His last strike came in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy success at Yeovil – and after drawing a blank in the 0-0 draw at Hartlepool, it was a fifth game without a goal for the forward.

The 29-year-old saw two good opportunities go begging in the trip to Victoria Park at the weekend either side of half-time, while strike- partner Patrick Agyemang was also unable to take two clear chances in Pompey’s bright opening spell.

But Blues boss Andy Awford insists he is still convinced Westcarr will deliver as he continues to settle in at Fratton Park.

‘Craig had two very good chances and didn’t take either of them against Hartlepool,’ said Awford.

‘Of course, he’s disappointed that he didn’t score.

‘On another day they both go in and everyone is delighted about it.

‘This time it didn’t quite happen for him.

‘But he is a seasoned pro and he will get goals for us.

‘It wasn’t his day on that occasion but there will be other times when it will be. I’m sure of that.’

Westcarr boasts an impressive record from a higher level and has regularly reached double figures in League One.

His final tally of 16 in all competitions for Walsall last term was the best season’s return of his professional career.

In fact, the 2012-13 campaign – when he scored eight times – was the only season from the past five where he has failed to get to 10 goals or above.

And Awford believes Westcarr has already shown his qualities, even if he hasn’t quite hit his peak just yet.

‘Against Northampton he took his chance really well. It was a quality finish,’ added Awford.

‘Against Oxford he got us the three points by popping up in the right place at the right time, and we saw how well he took his goal against Yeovil in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

‘But that’s the life of a striker.

‘He’s disappointed he hasn’t taken one of those chances that came his way.

‘But he has worked very hard to play his part in the system for the team. It’s not all about him.’

After his burst of three goals in four games – and four goals in pre-season – Awford is hopeful his charge will find another rich goalscoring vein over the coming weeks.

Awford said: ‘Hopefully he is that type of striker that gets them in a flurry.

‘I’d love him to go on and get a few in a few games.

‘But, as a team, we know we’ve got to do better in the final third and take a chance or two.’