Appy keen to bring Joe back to Blues

24/11/2011 (SPORT) POMPEY TRAINING''Portsmouth FC players training at Wellington Sports Ground in Eastleigh on Thursday 24th November 2011.''Pictured is: New signing Joe Mattock during training.''Picture: Sarah Standing (114165-4511)

24/11/2011 (SPORT) POMPEY TRAINING''Portsmouth FC players training at Wellington Sports Ground in Eastleigh on Thursday 24th November 2011.''Pictured is: New signing Joe Mattock during training.''Picture: Sarah Standing (114165-4511)

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Michael Appleton has revealed Joe Mattock issued a personal apology to him after signing for Championship rivals Brighton instead of Pompey.

But the Blues boss has not ruled out bringing him back to the club next season.

The West Brom youngster impressed during his seven games on loan at Fratton Park earlier this term, and Appleton was keen to see him return to bolster his threadbare resources.

Mattock – who was recalled by the Baggies last month as they struggled to cope with a glut of injuries – was also keen to return to Pompey.

However, the Blues’ failure to pay staff wages for January saw West Brom manager Roy Hodgson block Mattock’s proposed switch back, with the 21-year-old going to the Seagulls instead.

While the young left-back apologised for the situation, Appleton understands why Hodgson decided to send him elsewhere.

Appleton said: ‘I spoke to Joe a couple of times and he was gutted. He texted me again on Wednesday apologising and I told him he had nothing to apologise for.

‘I wish him all the best and hope he does well for Brighton.

‘You never know, we could be seeing each other a lot sooner than he probably thought we might do.

‘He is in a position where he will go there until the end of the season – then, hopefully, we will be able to revisit it.’

Mattock’s Hawthorns team-mate George Thorne also remains on the Pompey radar during the emergency loan window but their financial situation remains a concern to Hodgson, with the club’s bank account currently frozen as a result of the winding-up petition issued by HMRC.

Appleton said: ‘It helps that if you go to a club and ask for one of their players that you can actually pay for him.

‘The goalposts have moved yet again regarding the Football League, with what we could or couldn’t do.

‘Due to the winding-up petition, their stance changed and obviously meant George and Joe couldn’t come back.

‘If Ryan Williams leaving now means we can bring George back, I’m not too sure at the minute.

‘Every time I ask a question and get one answer, the goalposts change slightly.

‘I need to ask Roy what the situaton is and see whether Keith Andrews coming into their club means George can be let out.’

Meanwhile, the charity match scheduled for tomorrow at Westleigh Park in memory of Ken Woodford has been postponed because of a frozen pitch.

The game for the well-known newspaper seller will now be rescheduled.

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