Bright young things set to lock horns

Burnley manager Eddie Howe
Burnley manager Eddie Howe
Sonny Bradley, right, will face his old side this weekend. Picture: Joe Pepler

Bradley: Pompey clash is the one I look forward to

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They are the next generation of football managers.

Rarely can a league game have taken place with a younger pair of bosses than Michael Appleton and Eddie Howe.

With an average age of 35, the pair represent a new era of forward-thinking bright, young things.

Both had their hunger fuelled to succeed on the other side of the football fence after having their playing days cut short.

And now they are looking forward to locking horns with each other at Turf Moor.

Appleton said: ‘I only crossed paths with Eddie as a player.

‘He had to retire early through injury as well as myself. I played against him at Bournemouth when I was at Preston.

‘I haven’t really met him on the circuit myself but I’m looking forward to having a chat with him tomorrow.

‘He did really well at Bournemouth and got his opportunity with Burnley.

‘It’s not been easy for him because he’s had to get rid of a few players but he’s bought players and they need to bed in.

‘He goes into the game in a fantastic mood, though, after their week and I’m sure they are buoyant and looking forward to the game.’

Howe believes Appleton’s arrival at Pompey could make the task tougher for his team tomorrow.

But after winning three games on the bounce, he remains confident.

Former Pompey defender Howe said: ‘Portsmouth are an experienced side and, with a change of manager, that will make it perhaps a little bit more difficult. And, of course, the off-field problems can sometimes galvanise a team and make them harder to beat.

‘For various reasons I think it’s going to be a tough game.

‘There are young managers all over the place now.

‘I don’t know too much about Michael but he’s very highly regarded as a coach and he did a good job at West Brom, so he’ll have his own ideas.

‘He’ll change the side and put his own stamp on it.

‘But I believe in the group we have at the minute and the confidence in the squad.’