ANDY AWFORD believes Pompey’s spate of injuries has been out of their hands.
The Blues boss has told his players they need to take their chances to impress as they enter a busy period of games.
The lads have been waiting for opportunities – now they have to take it. They have to pick it up.Andy Awford
Awford’s side face four matches in 11 days – beginning with the trip to Carlisle on Friday and home clash with Plymouth on Monday.
Pompey will have to guard against any other players joining those already in the treatment room.
Awford’s injury concerns mounted when Paul McCallum limped off for the reserves earlier today with an ankle issue.
That was after Danny East came off against Shrewsbury with a hamstring problem.
Jack Whatmough (knee), Paul Robinson (fractured cheek) and Andy Barcham (knee) are already on the sidelines.
That trio have all suffered impact injuries, which Awford explained are impossible to prevent.
The only consolation for the Pompey boss is it opens the door for others to show what they can do.
Awford said: ‘With most of the injuries we’ve been picking up you can’t do anything about them.
‘If they were strains you’d maybe question the training and maybe look a bit deeper into it.
‘But Robbo (Robinson) has had a whack, Jack has fallen uncomfortably and Barchie (Barcham) has had a whack.
‘They are three impact injuries. That’s unfortunate and can happen to anyone at anytime. They all happened in two games.
‘That’s what you have to deal with and that’s what a squad is for.
‘The lads have been waiting for opportunities – now they have to take it. They have to pick it up. That’s what the squad is for.
‘If it was calves, groins, hamstrings and quads all the time you’d look at it differently. You’d look at what you’ve put in place.
‘Those three impact injuries happened to those players, they could have happened to anyone.’
There may be little to play for now in terms of League Two ambitions but Pompey still face a busy run of games at the start of this month.
That is part of seven fixtures over the final four weeks of the campaign.
Awford said: ‘The biggest bit when the fixtures kick in is the recovery. The players have to look after themselves and make sure they help themselves to be ready.
‘That’s the case when they are at the club and away from it as well.’