Appleton keen for Blues to entertain

Michael Appleton wants to excite the fans. Picture:Colorsport / Joe Pepler
Michael Appleton wants to excite the fans. Picture:Colorsport / Joe Pepler
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Michael Appleton has pinpointed attractive football to bring success to Pompey.

The new Blues boss will today take training for the first time following his appointment last week.

His first task with his players will be to begin instilling the way he wants his team to play.

And the 35-year-old has pledged to produce a playing style to entertain fans and win matches.

Predecessor Steve Cotterill attracted criticism from some quarters over the manner in which his team performed.

Now Appleton is at the helm and eager to introduce his own footballing philosophy.

He said: ‘What is a philosophy? Is it a formation? Is it a style of play? Is it what are you about as a person?

‘I think you can only find out about it over a longer period of time.

‘What I would say is I like to play a certain way, I like to play in an attractive style.

‘Ultimately you want to be able to do that and you want to be able to do that in a winning way.

‘Formations are formations and styles of play are styles of play and from my point of view the players will know very quickly the style of play we want to adapt.

‘I would love the side to play fantastic football every week and play the opposition off the park.

‘The reality is that is not going to happen – but would I like to bring a free-flowing style of play to Portsmouth? Of course I would.

‘Firstly, you have got to make sure you have 11 players on the field every week who can handle and deal with that style of play.

‘Hopefully we’ll get ourselves into a position where we can do that.

‘From a philosophy point of view I have been driven and worked with a lot of winners in my time in terms of managers I have played under.

‘And I believe I can play in a style which can entertain and win matches.’

Guy Whittingham and Stuart Gray will be present to ease the new manager into Fratton Park life.

The forthcoming visit to Watford represents his maiden Pompey game.

In the build-up he will be analysing his playing squad as well as introducing the footballing fundamentals he believes in.

And Appleton admits it will take time.

He added: ‘As a new manager coming to a football club with new players that you haven’t worked with before it is always difficult.

‘It takes time to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are and what their capabilities are.

‘So that is going to take a while, but ultimately I’ve got two good people alongside me in Guy and Stuart who have worked with the players long enough to help me along over the next few weeks.

‘Hopefully you’ll see it as soon as possible on the pitch.

‘Ultimately you have got to put yourself in a position straight away with the players and give them a vision – a vision of how you see them playing.’