Appleton won’t write off season

Michael Appleton, West Bromwich Albion First Team Coach
Michael Appleton, West Bromwich Albion First Team Coach
Milan Lalkovic. Picture: Shaun Boggust

Pompey v Walsall: Pre-match talking points

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Michael Appleton has told Pompey there is still time to rescue their season.

A disappointing start coupled with a change of management has left the Blues drifting in 16th spot in the Championship.

With more than a third of the campaign gone, plenty have already written off the season.

Not Appleton, though, as he embarks on his maiden job in management.

The Blues boss is refusing to publicly set targets for his side.

But he believes there is still every opportunity to achieve a decent finish.

And Appleton insists it is far too early to throw in the towel.

He said: ‘Portsmouth didn’t have a fantastic start to the season but at the minute all the clubs are pushing or jostling for positions.

‘What really matters is what I call the business end of the season.

‘At that point, the teams playing well will be the ones getting all the glory – whether that is getting themselves out of trouble or actually getting themselves promoted.

‘That is when it really counts.

‘At the minute we are at that jostling stage where most teams are looking to pick performances up because it is still reasonably early in the season.

‘Whether that is to go up automatically, whether that is to get in the play-offs, whether that is to make sure they are not going to be in the bottom three or four – nothing is decided.

‘The owners want a side that can win and be successful.

‘It might take a little bit of time but I think over time I would like to back myself.’

Pompey finished 16th in the Championship last season after failing to win any of their final eight league matches.