Blues ready to unleash young guns

Pompey youngster Jack Whatmough
Pompey youngster Jack Whatmough
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Jackett: It’s showtime for Pompey

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POMPEY could unleash their young guns in their battle for league survival.

Andy Awford has insisted he would have no qualms about throwing in untried youngsters to the first team over the final seven games.

And the caretaker boss believes teenagers playing without fear could release the Blues from the shackles of pressure.

Awford handed Jack Whatmough his debut earlier this season in his previous caretaker tenure.

He is not concerned about doing the same again as his side battle for their place in League Two.

Awford said: ‘I’ve never been worried about age.

‘I was put into a team early on as a kid.

‘If you are good enough you are old enough.

‘I understand there’s a pressure which comes with it.

‘I played in a FA Cup semi-final at the age of 19.

‘I just went out and played because I had no fear.

‘If I was to do the same tomorrow, you’d feel it because you are more experienced.

‘Sometimes the kids playing with no fear helps.

‘The guys who have 300-400 appearances have been around the block.

‘If I feel it’s right to play young players they will play.’

Awford has also left the door for those who were left out in the cold at Pompey under Richie Barker.

But he underlined that this isn’t going to be the time for wholesale changes and experimentation.

‘It is a clean slate, but I’m not going to say everyone will get a chance to play,’ said Awford.

‘This isn’t pre-season where we can try out different formations and have a look at this and that. We have to get points. Now. Seven games!’