Pearce and Halford will be just the start

Michael Appleton believes more of his squad will follow Jason Pearce and Greg Halford out of the Fratton Park door this week.

The Blues boss expects the pair to seal moves away from Pompey by the end of today.

Pearce will complete his move to Leeds, while Halford is being pursued by several Championship clubs.

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They were left out of the season finale at Nottingham Forest on Saturday over fears potential injury could cost Pompey crucial transfer revenue.

It was a financial decision instructed by administrator Trevor Birch.

Appleton is convinced others will now also follow as Championship clubs take advantage of the reopening of the transfer window.

He added: ‘There is a situation where we all know players are going to leave the football club.

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‘I think if Jason would have played it would have made it very difficult for him to get the move that the football club and he wants.

‘Greg is a similar scenario. We don’t want to put his health at risk which could harm a possible move away from the club.

‘I wasn’t fortunate enough to be able to select them. It’s fine because ultimately if it helps the football club in whatever way, shape or form them you have got to abide by it.

‘They both wanted to come to the game to watch, which was great.

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‘I think they wanted to say a farewell to their team-mates as well as the fans who travelled.

‘I think they will go very quickly. I will be surprised if they were still hanging about after today.

‘And I will be surprised if there aren’t a few others following very quickly as well.’