Norris: Pompey must keep hold of Appleton

Pompey boss Michael Appleton. Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey boss Michael Appleton. Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey celebrate Brett Pitman's goal. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0 – Neil Allen’s match report

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Keeping Michael Appleton as Pompey boss is the key to the club’s future.

Blues fans are hoping their manager will not be tempted away from Fratton Park with sides keeping tabs on his progress.

And now David Norris has added his voice to those who feel it is imperative he remains.

Appleton has established himself as a figurehead for the club through its fight for survival.

The 36-year-old’s conduct has made him a firm favourite with fans, with his straight talking and honesty going down a storm.

Appleton has indicated he is looking to remain at the club, but the fear is rivals will pounce with his stock high.

Norris insisted that absolutely cannot be the case if Pompey are to move forward.

He said: ‘I think keeping the gaffer will be key.

‘I’ve been really impressed with him.

‘Like he’s always said, if he can get a level playing field he’ll do well for us.

‘We need new owners to get set up and have a bit of backing for him.

‘I think he’s done wonders for his reputation.

‘It’s possible (he’ll be wanted by other clubs) so it’s important for the club to keep him as manager.

‘He’s done his reputation no harm, but hopefully he’ll still be here.’

Norris explained he has been won over by Appleton’s approach since he came into the club in November.

The midfielder pinpointed his no-nonsense style as being the major reason he has been popular with players.

Appleton has also fought to keep the pressure off his staff throughout the Championship run-in.

He has worked to a policy of being upfront with his men, as he has had to relay negative news to them throughout his tenure.

Norris feels that man management style is making him stand out as a boss of real promise.

He said: ‘The way he’s handled it, kept the pressure off the players and been honest has stood out.

‘He’s told us exactly what is going on and the players appreciate that.

‘We’ve had a good rapport with him and you can see the players playing for him.

‘Everyone wants to know where they stand and that is the case with this manager.

‘He’ll let you know where you stand. His man management has been brilliant.’