Striker wants to be part of Appy future

Dave Kitson is encouraged by what is ahead for Pompey on the pitch
Dave Kitson is encouraged by what is ahead for Pompey on the pitch
Pompey midfielder Carl Baker Picture: Joe Pepler

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Dave Kitson paid tribute to Michael Appleton’s impact at Pompey and promised: I don’t want to go anywhere.

The Blues striker believes his club have the right man at the helm to take them forward – if Appleton is given the right backing.

And Kitson wants to be a part of the rebirth of the team under Appleton’s guidance.

The 31-year-old has been linked with a move away from Fratton Park this month, with Bristol City said to be keen on signing him.

Kitson, who has 18 months left on his contract, insists he is perfectly happy where he is, though, and has no desire to move on.

The former Reading forward is keen to help his new manager continue the promising work he has started.

Kitson said: ‘I’m a big fan of the direction Michael is trying to move this football club in. It’s exciting.

‘He has got the team organised, we are creating chances and the main thing is he has got the players on board and he seems to have the fans on board as well.

‘It’s an important period on the playing side, given the circumstances surrounding the club. If the backing of the new owners is forthcoming, Michael has a chance to build something.

‘I’m a big fan of the way he operates, his work on the training ground and the way he treats and talks to the players.

‘I want to be a part of that, even beyond what I have on my current contract.

‘There is no reason on earth why I would ever want to leave the football club. I can just do what Michael asks of me – and I’m happy doing that.

‘In the next few years, this club – if it can stabilise behind the scenes – has as good a chance of any of achieving things.

‘The players are already here, and then there are the players Michael wants to bring in, and how he wants to play, too.

‘Why would I want to leave that? It’s exciting times from our point of view – from a playing point of view.’

Kitson revealed he has been refreshed by Appleton’s approach to dealing with players.

The striker was outspoken about the manner in which the Pompey dressing room had been united in the wake of Steve Cotterill’s departure.

The former Stoke man feels Appleton’s even-handed approach is maintaining that togetherness.

Kitson said: ‘All players want to play and, at the moment, I’m playing.

‘Michael’s very, very fair – and that’s all you can ask for as a player.

‘If you are not playing, you are told why you are not playing, and he gives you all of the instructions and information you need when you do play.

‘It’s very simple and it’s very easy, but you can over-complicate football with tactics and things like that.

‘But actually, when it comes down to it, if you’ve got players in the positions you want and you instruct them properly, they will all be on board with what you want to do.’