Kpekawa adds competition

Cole Kpekawa Picture: Colin Farmery
Cole Kpekawa Picture: Colin Farmery
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  • New Pompey defender adds depth
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Andy Awford has downplayed suggestions he has brought in a direct replacement for Dan Butler.

The Blues boss has recruited the pacy Cole Kpekawa from QPR – a left-sided player who can play at left-back, left wing-back or in the centre of defence.

Cole isn’t a direct replacement for Dan Butler but he gives us some more competition and cover

Andy Awford

And although Awford felt he needed cover for both Paul Robinson and Jack Whatmough after their injuries, Kpekawa’s arrival has also added competition for Butler’s regular place.

The homegrown youngster has started the past 11 games after seeing off the challenge of Nicky Shorey.

But he now looks set for another battle for his position with the 18-year-old highly rated by his parent club and eager to play games.

Awford said: ‘Cole isn’t a direct replacement for Dan Butler but he gives us some more competition and cover.

‘His flexibility means we can use him in a flat back four but he is left-sided so he gives us a bit more balance.

‘He is equally as comfortable in a centre-back position or on the left.

‘We’ve spoken to QPR about it and they are happy for him to play in any of those positions.

‘They see it as a great opportunity for his development to play in front of 15,000 fans but he needs to get into the team on merit.’

Awford still has the chance to add to his ranks before Thursday’s emergency loan deadline.

But it’s a tough task with some clubs refusing to let any of their players out.

Awford said: ‘We’re always looking but it’s about who is available.

‘Sometimes clubs are a bit more reluctant to let players out at this point in the season because once March 26 has passed, that’s it done.’