Howard prepared to wait a few more days for Blues

Brian Howard battles with Aldershot's Aaron Morris in last night's 1-0 pre-season win against the League Two club    Picture: Allan Hutchings
Brian Howard battles with Aldershot's Aaron Morris in last night's 1-0 pre-season win against the League Two club Picture: Allan Hutchings
Pompey manager Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

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Brian Howard put his faith in Michael Appleton as he told the Blues boss: I’m prepared to wait a few more days for Pompey.

The ex-Reading midfielder is currently on trial with the Blues and originally set a deadline of August 1 to sign a contract as several other clubs chase his signature.

But that date passed yesterday, with Appleton still not allowed to sign players by the Football League until Dave Kitson, Tal Ben Haim and Liam Lawrence are all removed from the wage bill.

Howard remains keen to sign for Pompey and impressed in the 1-0 pre-season friendly win at Aldershot Town last night.

But he knows time is running out as he weighs up his other options.

Howard said: ‘Myself and the gaffer talk daily. But I don’t know how long I can hang on. It’s a difficult one.

‘He’s asked me to be patient and to give him a bit more time. So I’m putting my faith in him. I believe in what he’s trying to do here.

‘I’ve played this game (Aldershot), will play against Bolton and then I think we will sit down at the weekend.

‘I will probably have a chat with him in the next two days. But the last thing he needs is people knocking on his door every day about contracts.

‘We all know the situation with Tal, Liam and Kits and I’m sure the next few days are very important in the club’s future.

‘So I’ll have a chat with the gaffer after the game on Saturday and we’ll see where we are.

‘But we are getting into territory where I have got to make a decision.’

Howard is being chased by clubs in the Championship, League One and from abroad.

But his first choice is Fratton Park and he is eager to see Appleton given the opportunity to build his own team.

The midfielder said: ‘I’ve got three or four other deals that are on the table so I am delaying them.

‘But I can only hang on for so long waiting for a deal because it’s only two weeks until the start of the season and I need to be playing somewhere.

‘It’s very difficult and I don’t know how long those deals will stay on the table because I’ve got some good offers from the Championship, League One and even abroad.

‘I’ve got a few different options to think about.

‘But I’ve made it clear to the gaffer that I would like to stay at Portsmouth.

‘I think it’s a great club and when you see the fans turn out like that for a pre-season friendly, it’s unreal.

‘I’ve seen the potential that could be there with this club and the manager.’

The 29-year-old is not the only man being forced to wait and he admits other potential signings could slip through Pompey’s net.

Howard said: ‘It’s difficult for the manager because there are seven or eight other players in my position. Some are here and some are waiting but it needs to be sorted otherwise we will lose them.

‘But I saw the manager’s views out in Spain in 10-12 days out there.

‘I enjoyed every minute of it. I enjoyed his training, I enjoyed his thoughts on football and I like the atmosphere around the team and the players.’