Awford Given Stay Of Execution

Andy Awford will stay as Portsmouth manager for the time being after a discussion between the board members today.

The news is somewhat surprising given the reaction to Saturday's defeat to Southend and the comments made by Iain McInnes in the matchday programme. However, it seems like there has been some strong resistance from other board members who are hesitant to sack their third manager in such a short space of time.

The stay of execution probably means Awford's job is safe no matter what the result at Wycombe on Saturday unless it's a humiliating thrashing but you would have to believe that anything other than a win at home to rock-bottom Hartlepool the following weekend would surely see the axe fall on the Pompey manager.

And even if Awford did win that match, he would be under constant pressure to deliver for the rest of the season and unless his team could reproduce the form that saw him earn the job permanently at the end of last season then his job is never going to be safe.

Personally, I would love Awford to turn this round but I'm not sure he will be able to do it. His record in the last nineteen league matches is worse than the nineteen games Richie Barker had before he was given the boot and I just get the feeling that Awford overthinks far too many things when the simple approach worked for him when he first took charge.

The players may shoulder some of the blame but there are plenty of players in that squad who many other League Two managers would love to have playing for them. Awford certainly doesn't have a poor squad at his disposal and the team should be much higher than 18th in League Two.

If there is anything positive to come from this news it's that Awford staying means at least delaying what would be Gary Waddock being promoted to manager for the rest of the season at least. Not only would that be a very uninspiring choice of manager but also would possibly be even more likely to send Pompey to the Conference given his recent record at Oxford and Wycombe.

Still, this "vote of confidence" has made certain individuals look foolish given the board's decision and the chairman's contradictory comments. All it has done is put Awford and his players under even more pressure to get results quickly, and it's unlikely to work.

Hopefully this will all work out for the best, but I wouldn't be putting any money on a happy ending for Andy Awford as today's decision is merely delaying the inevitable.