T ’n’ T out to blow Grecians away

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ANDY AWFORD is set to go with his ‘preferred’ strike force against Exeter.

But the Pompey boss told his hitmen there are no guarantees when it comes to securing a place in his front line.

Ryan Taylor. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ryan Taylor. Picture: Joe Pepler

Matt Tubbs and Ryan Taylor are in line to get the nod as the Blues bid to make it eight points from 12 against the Grecians tomorrow.

That’s been the pairing Awford has gone with in the past three games, with Craig Westcarr paired with Tubbs against Southend and Burton.

But while the duo are in possession of the starting places at present, Awford explained there is no attacking hierarchy.

He likes what he’s seen of the Tubbs and Taylor combination so far.

But the onus is now on them to deliver a goal threat.

Awford said: ‘At the moment they are the preferred two because they are in the team for the past three games.

‘That’s been the way we have gone for the past three games.

‘We’ve got it to where we want it, although we’ve got Paul McCallum out.

‘I wanted four or five attack-minded players or forwards.

‘At the moment, in my opinion, those two have done well so we’ve stuck with them but I’ve got quality there.

‘From a forwards point of view I’ve got Taylor, Tubbs, Westcarr, Chaplin, Agyemang and McCallum, although he’s not available until March.

‘So there’s plenty of options, which is what I wanted.

‘I wouldn’t say I’ve got a number one, two, three and four. That’s not the case.

‘It’s a team game and it’s a squad game. You are going to need everyone.

‘There are six games in February and the same in March. There’s Easter coming up as well.

‘You can get injuries, suspensions or a loss of form. You need a squad.

‘At the moment I’m preferring those two and they are doing well.

‘It’s down to them to keep the shirt now.

‘We will see how it goes as the season goes on.’

Taylor has hit just three goals this season but Awford reserved praise for the 26-year-old’s form and the job he is doing leading the line.

Awford said: ‘Tayls has been excellent for us.

‘His hold-up play is very good and he’s a focal point for us.

‘He makes it difficult for opposing defenders, he’s very clever and he understands the game.

‘I think he’s been decent in the past few games.

‘Anyone who plays with Taylor will feed off his style of play.

‘He’s the link player and people go off him and feed off him.

‘That’s his game. As long as we’re playing well he’s fine.

‘I’m sure he wants to score more goals like any forward.

‘But he does the other side of the game very well.’