Blues boss lauds Pompey heroics

Michael Appleton applauds the fans at London Road
Michael Appleton applauds the fans at London Road
Pompey forward Kal Naismith Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Appleton hailed his Pompey heroes after shrugging off the ‘rubbish’ to produce a Peterborough star show.

It has been a gloomy week following the issuing of a winding-up petition by HMRC.

Yet amid the bleak backdrop of the Blues potentially being liquidated, both players and fans rallied around magnificently at London Road on Saturday.

Appleton masterminded a classy 3-0 triumph over the Posh – with Erik Huseklepp’s double sandwiching a Jason Pearce header.

They were roared on by around 1,500 Blues fans who packed the away end.

Their superb vocal support put the muted home crowd to shame from start to finish – and they were given plenty to cheer about.

For Appleton, it was a day to remember after a week to forget.

Appleton said: ‘With all the prep that has gone into the week and with all the rubbish that has gone on off the field, a result like that just makes it worthwhile.

‘I was trying to get it across to the players that Saturday was a little bit more than just three points.

‘I know if you win a game you can only get three points out of it but there were so many factors to it.

‘There was stuff that was going on off the field, having to deal with the pressure of coming away from home, knowing that if you win the game you go above the opposition in the table and knowing the fact if you do win the game you get 10 points clear of the team third from bottom of the table in Nottingham Forest.

‘This was our game in hand and it was almost a perfect away performance.

‘I don’t want to create an excuse culture here.

‘I have told the players I will deal with the stuff going on off the field as best as I possibly can.

‘I will give them enough information as I think they need and should have.

‘From their point of view, they get paid to come in every day, work their socks off, prepare for games and obviously try to win games of football.

‘They have done that to the best of their ability this week and got their reward for it from a great performance.

‘You take the three goals and a clean sheet out of it and I was delighted with the way we kept our shape.

‘I didn’t think they got in behind us that often, in fact I can’t think of too many occasions.

‘Pretty much everything was in front of us, we defended well, kept our compactness and hit them time and time again.

‘We can’t really control what happens off the field, we just want to get more performances and more results like this.’

In addition, Appleton sung the praises of the Pompey fans.

Some didn’t arrive at London Road until half-time after their train to Peterborough was delayed.

Yet their performance was just as impressive as the side they roared on for 90 minutes.

He added: ‘That is what to come to expect when you come to work for this football club.

‘We have fantastic fans who trawl up and down the country week in, week out.

‘That is the message we have been trying to get across about getting bodies into the ground at Fratton Park.

‘Not only will they help to raise the atmosphere at the game and help us get three points, more importantly at the minute it can help club together a few extra quid in our current climate.’