GARY WADDOCK told Pompey fans: I’m my own man.
The Blues assistant manager promised he will speak up when necessary, as his working relationship with Andy Awford flourishes.
Awford this week praised the former Oxford United boss’ influence since arriving as his No2 in December.
Waddock has provided an experienced sounding board for his manager since coming into the position.
The 52-year-old feels Awford has created a platform for his staff to speak out and air their views.
And that is paying dividends at present, with Pompey unbeaten in six going into today’s meeting with the U’s.
Waddock said: ‘I’ve come in to help and support Awfs.
‘We’ve all got on very well and the staff have been fantastic.
‘They’ve made it easy for me to settle.
‘I’m a touch older than Awfs and I’ve a bit more experience in terms of the games behind me.
‘If I can help him in any way I am going to do that.
‘We’ve all got our own ideas and philosophies on how the game should be played. But we are on the same hymn sheet.
‘The manager doesn’t want yes men all the time.
‘He wants to bounce things around with his staff – and the staff do that for him. That can only be healthy.
‘If one of the staff doesn’t agree with something, he’s created an environment for them to be confident enough to say it.
‘That’s credit to him to do that.
‘I’m very much my own man. If something needs to be said, I’ll say it.
‘We all know where we are in our roles. We are all on the same level as staff but the manager sits on top. He dictates what goes on.’
Despite being appointed without really knowing Awford, Waddock has been able to quickly build an understanding with the Pompey boss.
He explained Awford calls the shots and the former QPR, Aldershot and Wycombe manager has been impressed with how he’s tackled a testing role.
‘I’d met him a couple of times at games where it’s been a case of saying hello and asking how things are going,’ said Waddock.
‘But I’ve got on great with him and I’ve got the utmost respect for him.
‘It’s a difficult job for an experienced manager.
‘Awfs has taken over the reins after being a player here and doing so well last season. It’s his club.
‘Expectations are very high here and he has coped with this situation very, very well.
‘It would be fantastic for him if he could go on to achieve what everybody wants the club to achieve.
‘Everyone has their own way. The manager has his own way. He’s the guv’nor, he’s the boss. Whatever he wants we will go ahead and do that.
‘Ultimately, the buck stops with him – he’s the manager. But we’re doing all right at the moment.’