PLAY UP POM­PEY

Dou­ble suc­cess at Frat­ton as Andy Aw­ford and Jed Wal­lace take awards

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Stu­art Ham­monds

PORTSMOUTH’S se­v­engame un­beaten run may have come to an abrupt end in their first game of March in mid­week, but the League Two big guns were still cel­e­brat­ing dou­ble suc­cess in the Sky Bet award stakes.

Frat­ton Park boss Andy Aw­ford took the man­age­rial ac­co­lade af­ter lead­ing his side to six of those seven games with­out de­feat in Fe­bru­ary, the first of the run com­ing on the last day of Jan­uary.

And ace mid­fielder Jed Wal­lace scooped the player award for some stel­lar per­for­mances in be­hind the front two dur­ing a month in which he scored twice, in­clud­ing one at Cam­bridge United when he also set up four more in a 6-2 win for Portsmouth.

Aw­ford was de­lighted for his star­let, 20, who was de­scribed as “Cham­pi­onship qual­ity” by Northamp­ton boss Chris Wilder af­ter the Cob­blers ended Pom­pey’s run.

“Jed had a fan­tas­tic month in Fe­bru­ary and has played an im­por­tant role for the team in us get­ting a de­cent re­turn of points,” said Aw­ford.

Con­sis­tent

“His goals, as­sists and over­all con­tri­bu­tion have been con­sis­tent and the chal­lenge for him and the team now is to be just as con­sis­tent through­out the re­main­der of the sea­son.”

Aw­ford, mean­while, played down any talk of his side gate­crash­ing the pro­mo­tion party af­ter the run of 14 points from 18 in Fe­bru­ary took them from the brink of a battle against rel­e­ga­tion to the fringes of the play­offs.

“We haven’t even spo­ken about the play­offs,” said the 42-year-old. “It’s not some­thing I’ve ever dis­cussed with any­body. All I’ve got a tar­get of is to get as high up the league as we can.”

The ex-Pom­pey de­fender was more happy to dis­cuss mid­fielder Wes Fog­den’s re­turn to ac­tion af­ter seven months out with a knee in­jury.

The 26-year-old for­mer Bournemouth, Dorch­ester and Ha­vant & Water­looville man came on as a 78th-minute sub at Six­fields.

“Wes is al­ways go­ing to give you en­ergy and that spirit in the mid­dle of the park,” said Aw­ford. “We missed him and it’s great to have him back.”

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

CLASSY: Pom­pey mid­fielder Jed Wal­lace in ac­tion and, inset, along­side boss Andy Aw­ford with their prizes

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