Pompey boss hopeful over Westwood clearance

Ashley Westwood is waiting on the go-ahead from the Football League to assume his new role as Pompey first-team coach
Ashley Westwood is waiting on the go-ahead from the Football League to assume his new role as Pompey first-team coach
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder will relish facing former club

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Michael Appleton remains hopeful his new first-team coach can be unveiled before the weekend.

Ashley Westwood has already agreed to become Appleton’s right-hand man.

The 35-year-old has negotiated his release from Lincoln and terms have been finalised.

The hold up at present, however, is a financial one from Pompey’s side.

The result has been Westwood being unable to link-up with his new club for their return to training this week.

The Blues face the Hawks in their opening pre-season friendly on Saturday before flying out to Spain for a 10-day training camp.

And Appleton is keeping his fingers crossed Westwood will be officially on board by that stage.

He said: ‘A deal with Ashley has been agreed and is good to go.

‘Of course, it would be very helpful if players left then I am sure I will be in a position to do it.

‘I am hoping he will be here for Saturday, at least I would like to think so.

‘So we’re looking at the back end of the week when we could be in a position to get a first-team coach in and hopefully a couple of players.

‘In the meantime, Ashley is stuck at home at the minute, in a little bit of a limbo, which isn’t ideal.

‘He’s just got to be patient a little bit and we will get him in on time.’

The arrival of Westwood would follow the appointment of Luke Dowling, who left Crystal Palace last week to become head of recruitment at Fratton Park.

Westwood, who had a spell as caretaker manager at Kettering last season, had joined Lincoln as a player this summer.

Now he will focus on coaching – once he is given the green light from the Football League.

That will allow Guy Whittingham to work with the reformed development squad.

Appleton lost one of his first-team coaches in Stuart Gray at the end of last season.

The former Southampton manager was made redundant.