Pompey boss boosted by interest

Michael Appleton

Michael Appleton

Noel Hunt. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Appleton has claimed it would take a ‘hell of an offer’ to tempt him away from Pompey.

And the in-demand Blues boss has reiterated there has still not been an official approach in his services from either Burnley or Bolton.

The 36-year-old cut a relaxed figure yesterday amid on-going interest from the Championship sides.

The News understands he remains high on the Clarets’ short-list, while Bolton have also considered him.

In the meantime, Appleton has shrugged off such talk and is focusing on tomorrow’s visit of Shrewsbury.

He said: ‘The way things stand, until a football club comes in and says to Trevor “can we have permission to speak to Michael” then nothing is going to happen.

‘I have stuck around for 11-and-a-half months, so it would take one hell of an offer and one hell of a football club to prise me away.

‘In the summer I was looking forward to what hopefully was going to be a really good season.

‘It was going to be a season where we had a competitive budget and I could bring some top-quality players to the club and go up straight away. The scenario we are in now is the opposite end of the scale to what I thought it was going to be.

‘But we have still got to focus, we still have a goal.

‘I’m making sure I’m keeping myself busy to distract any distractions.

‘I love being out on the training pitch. For me that is the best place to be.

‘It can be difficult at times because people try to turn your head.

‘It’s like anything in life, you have been given a compliment that someone else is supposedly interested in your services, so you are doing something right.

‘As a player you get it quite a lot, whatever level you are playing at. This is now the first experience I have had of it as a manager.

‘But as soon as you start patting yourself on the back and get carried away, football has got a great way of slapping you in the face.’

Appleton has been linked with the Burnley job since Eddie Howe left for Bournemouth on Friday.

Mick McCarthy, Sean Dyche and Nick Barmby have also been linked with a move to Turf Moor.

Appleton, though has denied the on-going speculation over his future is affecting his side in the build-up for Shrewsbury.

He added: ‘It doesn’t seem to be affecting the players.

‘There is the usual banter they give me and have been giving me for a week or so.

‘It’s a bit of stick like “where were you last night?” and all that type of stuff.

‘That is helpful, that is good. It means they are in a good place.

‘So it has been quite enjoyable. It has actually lightened the situation even more from what’s going on off the field.

‘They have something else to concentrate on.’

n APPY VIDEO INTERVIEW AT portsmouth.co.uk

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