Appleton losing hope of a quick fix

Michael Appleton
Michael Appleton
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett was handed a fresh Fratton Park contract this week  Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey statement defies football’s knee-jerk nature

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Michael Appleton doesn’t expect a new Pompey owner to arrive before the close of the transfer window,

And the Blues boss is steeling himself to fight on through the rest of the campaign with his current squad as a result.

The search for a new owner continues after Joseph Cala pulled out of his proposed takeover last week.

But Appleton is now not expecting any swift conclusion on that front.

That means the 36-year-old doesn’t see there being any additions to his hugely threadbare squad.

Pompey are currently operating on a one in, one out basis, although West Brom pair George Thorne and Joe Mattock are able to return on loan.

Appleton said: ‘I’ve been told the so-called favourite has withdrawn his offer.

‘It’s difficult and you can’t keep your players away from it.

‘It looks very unlikely we are going to get an owner in before the end of the window.

‘I haven’t been told anything, but I just get that impression.

‘From my point of view, there’s no point thinking this is going to get done or that’s going to get done.

‘I don’t want to get my hopes up and then get them bashed.

‘It’s a situation where we are going to work with what we’ve got.

‘There’s enough quality in there.

‘We need to keep that quality on the field and not get injuries and suspensions.

‘I’ll ask them to play in various roles, but the facts are we haven’t got the options to deal with it.’

There is better news on the injury front for Pompey, though, with sidelined pair Luke Varney and Aaron Mokoena expected back in training this week.

Varney’s been out since December with a knee problem and Mokoena has a hamstring injury.

Appleton said: ‘We want to get Luke training with the boys next week.

‘That’s not guaranteed but that’s what we want to do.

‘Aaron’s in a situation where his hamstring is steadily getting better.

‘So, by the end of next week, we can hopefully have a situation where he’s close to joining in again.

‘That’s a bit of a brighter note.

‘We need to get them back in as quickly as possible.

‘The thing with Luke is that, when you rush them back, you can end up losing them for longer.

‘There are a few knocks and bumps, but we won’t get a better idea until we have a good look at them at the start of this week.’