Pompey 0 Oxford 1: Appy applauds ‘defining’ win

Oxford celebrate. Picture: Joe Pepler
Oxford celebrate. Picture: Joe Pepler
Mohamed-Labib Maouche. Picture: Colin Farmery

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Michael Appleton believes taming Pompey can be a defining moment in Oxford’s season.

The U’s picked up a 1-0 win at Fratton Park on Saturday in a big win for Appleton’s men.

Appleton made the importance of the win in his eyes clear. The former Pompey boss feels it can be a seminal three points in Oxford’s bid to make League One.

He said: ‘It can be a defining win in our season.

‘We were magnificent. It was a fantastic game for all of us.

‘This is a tough place to come in front of 18,000 passionate fans. What a place this is to play.

‘It’s a massive victory for us.

‘We spoke before the game about defining moments in the season and from a belief point of view it is massive for the club and the players.

‘We are at the business end of the season and not many sides will come here and win.’

Appleton admitted Pompey did gain the ascendancy after Liam Sercombe’s second half penalty miss, but his side still threatened.

He said: ‘I thought the penalty would give us a massive lift and it certainly gave our supporters a lift.

‘Portsmouth got into the game a bit after the save and we then had to ride a bit of pressure.

‘But we also created a couple of opportunities for ourselves.’

Jordan Bowery proved the match winner after signing for Oxford on Friday after leaving Rotherham.

Appleton said: ‘It was a fantastic finish from Jordan Bowery. He only got to the club on Friday and hasn’t played a competitive game since the end of November.

‘He is the type of player who just needs a bit of love and an arm around the shoulder to give him belief to do what I know he is capable of.

‘I think you saw glimpses of what he’ll give us once we get him fully fit and what he can produce.’

– JORDAN CROSS