Football - Awford boosted by grafting Pompey

Caretaker manager Andy Awford thinks Portsmouth's players are starting to show the sort of character required to turn around a frustrating first half of the season in League Two.

PA Sport Report

Pompey prevented a sixth consecutive defeat in all competitions as they held Hartlepool to a goalless draw at Victoria Park.

Portsmouth had their own chances to win the game, but in the end had to make do with their first point since Guy Whittingham was sacked last Monday.

Awford, who felt his side were unfortunate to lose to Southend in midweek, hinted he might consider the job on a permanent basis in the build up.

And he was pleased with the response of the players.

Awford said: "It was hard work, it was graft, we passed the ball around well at times and we looked solid. We expected to give a few opportunities away. Thankfully (goalkeeper) Trevor Carson saved them.

"More than anything we showed character. The pressure has been on because results have not been great. This a focal point for whoever comes in. It's a starting point. Overall we are pleased.

"The players can take confidence from this. Ball watching errors cost us against Southend but the players have impressed me. They need to realise this is a big club, you need to play with character and bravery, hopefully results will turn."

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