Brian Howard believes Michael Appleton can make him a better player – if he’s given the chance
But the midfielder feels Appleton is being frustrated in doing that by Pompey’s off-the-field problems.
Howard is waiting to put pen to paper on a contract at Fratton Park after leaving Reading.
The 29-year-old has been won over by his new manager-in-waiting since linking up with him in pre-season.
Howard says Appleton has already shown him his calibre as a football man on the training ground.
But the Blues boss is being hindered by having to deal with the club’s continual struggles behind the scenes.
Former Sheffield United, Barnsley and Swindon midielder Howard reckons Appleton has the right football philosophies for him to play under.
And that can only improve him as a player – if the Blues boss is given the opportunity to allow that to happen.
Howard said: ‘It’s a difficult situation for him (Appleton) because he’s a proper football guy who wants to be doing all of his talking on the training pitch.
‘His coaching is what he does best and I would rather be talking to him about making me into a better player, rather than talking every day about contracts.
‘It’s a difficult situation but it’s one of those things that changes daily and we just find out more each day that comes along.
‘I think he is a proper football person who wants his team to play in the right way.
‘I’ve enjoyed his training sessions since I arrived and you can see what he is trying to achieve here. There is a good spirit among the group.
‘He just needs to be given the chance to do that and bring some of the players in that he wants.’