Boss left to lift spirits despite his own worries

Michael Appleton salutes the Fratton End. Picture: Steve Reid (120536-170)
Michael Appleton salutes the Fratton End. Picture: Steve Reid (120536-170)
Dion Donohue Picture: Jason Chadwick

Midfield could be the home for Pompey signing-in-waiting

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Michael Appleton has revealed for the first time that he is feeling the strain of carrying the weight of Pompey expectation on his shoulders.

The Blues boss has faced up to the club’s impending administration with admirable dignity.

But after finding himself left in the lurch just weeks after becoming Pompey manager, Appleton has explained even he gets depressed at the situation he has found himself in.

The former West Brom assistant manager said: ‘It’s a difficult situation for everyone involved with the club.

‘You have your good days and your bad days but what I tend to do is make sure I have left the club before I have my bad day.

‘Don’t get me wrong, I’m only human and there will be times when I feel a bit down and a bit sorry for myself.

‘But I make sure that I don’t do it in front of the staff and the players.

‘They see me being positive and thinking about the next performance. That’s all I can do.’

While other club figures have gone to ground during the crisis, the former Manchester United midfielder has fronted up to field questions others should have answered.

And Appleton knows that, rightly or wrongly, he is seen as the club’s figurehead.

He said: ‘Everybody is looking at me for an answer and I’m trying to give them the best answer I possibly can.

‘I want to do that and I want to be straight down the line.

‘I don’t want to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

‘If I have got information, I will tell them and I won’t beat around the bush.

‘I try to give players as big a lift as I possibly can.

‘But I’ve also got staff behind me and they look up to me for a bit of inspiration.

‘Sometimes I might put my foot in it but it’s only because I try to be honest with people and tell them what’s happening and how we will try to deal with it.

‘If I was a manager of any other business, I would probably be exactly the same.’