Appleton salutes team spirit as players opt to remain
Michael Appleton saluted the Pompey team spirit after there were no deadline day departures.
Jason Pearce, Joel Ward, Luke Varney and David Norris were being chased by a host of Championship clubs.
But all stayed put after the emergency loan window shut yesterday.
Varney had been interesting Nottingham Forest and Leeds, while Ward had held talks with Ipswich.
Norris was linked with a switch to Crystal Palace.
In addition, Pearce snubbed Burnley to remain as captain at Fratton Park.
The quartet will now be key figures in the battle to remain in the Championship.
And Appleton believes their determination to stay is indicative of the affection they have for the Blues.
He said: ‘What we’ve got is team spirit.
‘Even with the lads who did leave, none of them have been desperate to get out of the door.
‘Every single one of them have not wanted to leave – and you are talking about people like Pearce, Varney, Ward.
‘They speak to me daily and have that respect to want to do that. They tell me every day they don’t want to leave, they are happy and they want to work with me. I’ll take that as a compliment.
‘We try to create an environment where they want to come in and enjoy training.
‘If they enjoy themselves – regardless of everything that has gone wrong at the football club – I just keep thinking when the good times come back what we can potentially get going down here.
‘There was a lot of interest – in four or five of them – but there is going to be because a lot of clubs see the position we are in and try to take an opportunity.
‘Trevor Birch (administrator) realises keeping the players in the building is probably going to have more and a bigger effect than any players who arrive.’