Appy goes Howard’s way as skipper

Brian Howard during Pompey training. Picture: Michael Jones
Brian Howard during Pompey training. Picture: Michael Jones
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Michael Appleton made Brian Howard his new captain and insisted: It’s a no-brainer.

The Pompey boss moved quickly to make the midfielder his on-pitch lieutenant for the new campaign.

And Appleton explained it was an easy decision following the 29-year-old’s arrival at the club.

Howard has remained at Fratton Park throughout an uncertain pre-season, with the Blues fighting to secure their future.

That’s despite having a host of options after leaving Reading in the summer.

Howard could have been plying his trade in the Championship this season, with Millwall one of a number of club’s keen to secure his services.

But he has chosen to ink a month-long deal offered by Appleton and lead Pompey in League One.

And the Blues boss made it clear he is just the type of character he wants in his dressing room.

Appleton said: ‘Brian will take the club forward and be a big part of what happens here.

‘It was an absolute no-brainer.

‘He came through the door and it was clear straightaway.

‘I knew about him from other people.

‘He wasn’t someone who came in and I had two or three weeks to see if he was a good player.

‘I already knew he was a good player.

‘But I did my due diligence to see what sort of person and character he was.

‘Everyone I spoke to could not speak highly enough of him.

‘More importantly, he’s got other options. He’s got other places he can play.

‘But I take that as a massive compliment that he says he wants to come and play for me and be my captain.’

Howard has been quick to make an impact since joining up with Pompey for their Spanish pre-season training camp.

Appleton believes his influence around the younger members of his squad is going to be a big positive moving forward.

That has already been seen in his enthusiasm for the game in training – something that has won his manager over.

Appleton said: ‘He’s great in the dressing room and he’s great around the kids.

‘He doesn’t stop moaning on the training pitch, which is also a good sign.

‘He wants to be the referee and coach in training every single day, which I like.

‘Brian is a good character.’