Appleton praised for Pompey '˜heroics'

Michael Appleton has been lauded for his Pompey '˜heroics'.

Administrator Trevor Birch has been impressed with the Blues boss as his squad continues to be chopped away.

Stephen Henderson will today follow Erik Huseklepp and Liam Lawrence out of the exit door. Hayden Mullins is the next expected to depart.

In the meantime, Appleton and his shrinking squad have been plunged into a relegation battle.

It is just over four months since he left West Brom as assistant manager to take up the Fratton Park reins.

And in dealing with the crippling restraints, Appleton has impressed Birch.

The Blues’ administrator said: ‘It is heartbreaking for me as a football man to have to let these players go and to have to do it to Michael, who I have got the utmost respect for.

‘He is performing heroics in such incredible, difficult circumstances, they really are.

‘Michael is behaving with such dignity and class.

‘There is an understanding from him about what we are trying to do here and I think that is going to stand him in good stead.

‘He is showing such maturity for such a young manager.’

Meanwhile, Birch admits he is well aware clubs can name a maximum of five loan players in a match-day squad.

As it stands, Scott Allan, George Thorne and Chris Maguire have arrived to bolster numbers.

Following the departure of Henderson and the likely exit of Mullins, more players are expected to be on their way.

And Birch insists he is bearing those restrictions in mind as he looks to continue cutting costs.

He added: ‘We can play only five loans at one time so, obviously, that is going to have an effect.’