Appleton: Scoreline flatters Seagulls

Izale McLeod puts pressure on Brighton captain Adam El-Abd, before having to go off with an ankle injury  Picture: Toby Barton
Izale McLeod puts pressure on Brighton captain Adam El-Abd, before having to go off with an ankle injury Picture: Toby Barton
Joe Hancott in action for Pompey Reserves against Southend. Picture: Colin Farmery

Harris hails Pompey Reserves’ performance

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Michael Appleton felt the scoreline flattered Brighton as Pompey slumped to a 5-1 defeat in Spain yesterday.

Gus Poyet’s side ran out comfortable winners in the clash at the Barcelo Montecastillo Resort.

Dan Thompson grabbed what proved to be a consolation goal just before half-time, barely three minutes after entering as a substitute.

The Blues were on the receiving end of some stunning strikes from Brighton – the pick coming from Vicente with a sublime 35-yard strike in the first half.

For Appleton, it was a considerably better performance from his side compared to the 4-0 defeat against Gibraltar on Friday night.

And he believes his team were not beaten as emphatically as the scoreline suggests.

He said: ‘I feel sorry for our lads, the scoreline flatters Brighton a little bit.

‘When they (Brighton) play teams they get more possession than the opposition. That is how they play – they play in front of you a lot.

‘We got done by a couple of cracking strikes from outside the box and I think the referee helped them a little bit in the second half with a couple of goals.

‘But there were a lot of young players out there and triallists desperate to impress so I’m disappointed from that point of view.

‘However, I actually felt we passed the ball quite well at times.

‘Although, the game did get a little bit disjointed in the last 25 minutes or so because everyone made so many changes.

‘I think they (the players) are getting an understanding of what I am about and what we want from them and it is a big learning curve.

‘They have played two games now, completely different circumstances in both, and have applied themselves really well.’

Meanwhile, Izale McLeod’s injury is not as bad as first feared.

The striker limped out in the 41st minute following a strong challenge from Adam El-Abd and was replaced by Thompson.

But Appleton doesn’t believe his ankle injury is too serious.

He added: ‘Izale is okay, he went over on his left ankle.

‘We will assess it over the next 24 hours and go from there, but he should be fine.

‘Him coming off was more of a risk assessment from my point of view.’