Appleton relishing chance to reshape Pompey

Michael Appleton
Michael Appleton
Conor Chaplin, left, and Oli Hawkins, right, are two options to replace the injured Brett Pitman against Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey fans debate who should replace injured Pitman against Plymouth

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Michael Appleton remains undaunted over Pompey’s anticipated summer exodus.

And the Blues boss insists he is relishing the opportunity to build his side from scratch.

All may be quiet in terms of Fratton Park exits at present in the wake of Jason Pearce’s departure for Leeds.

But many other players are set to follow, including Joel Ward, Erik Huseklepp, Luke Varney, Greg Halford and David Norris.

It is a situation Appleton has accepted as Trevor Birch attempts to bring in the funds to keep the club afloat and drive down the bloated wage bill.

As ever, the Blues boss is philosophical about the challenge ahead.

Not even a registration embargo preventing him signing out-of-contract players can dampen his enthusiasm.

Appleton views his latest predicament as an opportunity to assemble a squad from the very beginning.

Providing a new owner can be found, that is.

And that scenario is one which appeals.

He said: ‘Even if I have to start with a blank piece of paper with no names then so be it as long, as we can reshape things for next year.

‘It’s a fantastic club and I think people recognise that. It has been very unfortunate.

‘But you have to move on and rebuild for next year and that is a fact.

‘Trying to dress it up won’t make it any different.

‘One thing for sure is there will be a lot of players leaving the football club.

‘Because if we don’t do that, there won’t be a football club beyond May.

‘You have to say it is what it is.

‘It also gives me the opportunity to shape it differently for next season and that appeals.’