Appleton tips Allan to inspire relegation fight

Scott Allan. Picture: Allan Hutchings (120672-336)
Scott Allan. Picture: Allan Hutchings (120672-336)
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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Scott Allan can kick-start Pompey’s push for Championship survival.

That is the verdict of Blues boss Michael Appleton, who is convinced the creative midfielder can maintain his impressive start.

The Scotland under-21 international has shone since arriving on emergency loan from West Bromwich Albion.

Allan’s skill, inventiveness and high energy levels were once again apparent in a man-of-the-match display against Reading on Tuesday, irrespective of the 1-0 defeat.

Pompey’s current weakness remains scoring, with just two goals in their past seven games – just one from open play.

But Appleton believes the 20-year-old can prove himself just as effective in attacking areas as the man he replaced, Erik Huseklepp.

And he is anticipating Allan becoming a key man in keeping the Blues in the division over the next 12 matches.

He said: ‘Scott’s a good footballer – that is why I brought him to the football club.

‘I think he has been great so far. Anyone who has been watching him will probably agree with me.

‘Obviously we lost Erik and brought Scott in.

‘And – if he has not shown it already – I think he will show in the next 12 games what a fantastic replacement he can be and will be.

‘I am sure it is giving West Brom a few headaches as we speak because a lot of teams have been looking at him thinking “where has he come from, why have we not be able to see him before now?”.

‘I know when I was working at West Brom we were chasing the boy for 18 months – so I know everything about him.

‘He gets into clever areas, although the one thing he lacks at the minute is a little bit of physical strength but he will get that over the next two or three years.

‘If he continues to play at this level and put in the performances he has done over the past three games then he is going to be a massive, massive asset for West Brom in the long term.

‘Hopefully in the short term he will do a favour for Portsmouth and try to get us out of the relegation zone.’

Allan has joined West Brom team-mate George Thorne in the Fratton Park set-up.

Aged 19, Thorne is a year younger than Allan and the youthful duo have been pitched straight into a tough relegation battle.

But with wages needing to be slashed, Appleton admitted young players represent the most viable option open to him in the loan market.

He added: ‘It’s difficult sometimes because we are in a position where we have had to get rid of some really high earners.

‘And the scenario we’ve got is we have to replace them with kids who are not earning near as much.

‘What you have got to do is try to replace them with what is as good as you have lost.

‘We are working really hard making sure we bring in somebody to replace the loss of our club captain (Liam Lawrence) who is very, very influential on and off the field.

‘It’s going to be hard.’