Pompey fans were today told: Michael Appleton is the right man for the job.
Former Fratton favourite Darren Moore believes the Blues will be getting an exciting young manager in the West Brom assistant.
Moore knows Appleton well from their time together at the Hawthorns as players, before the highly-regarded coach was forced to retire at the age of 27 because of a knee injury.
Pompey chief executive David Lampitt was yesterday locked in negotiations with West Brom chairman, Jeremy Peace, after making an approach for Appleton.
It is believed that the 35-year-old, who is on a year’s rolling contract, impressed during an interview, although the Baggies are desperate to keep hold of him.
Moore delivered a ringing endorsement of Appleton’s credentials and ability to take the Blues forward.
He said: ‘It’s great for Appie and a wonderful opportunity for him.
‘I know what Portsmouth Football Club is all about. They want stability and deserve it.
‘He’s definitely a young up-and-coming manager who knows what he wants from the game.
‘He may not be known to a lot of people but you are going to see more young managers like him coming through with hunger.
‘You look at Karl Robinson, Carl Fletcher, Darren Ferguson, Eddie Howe and Derek McInnes – these young boys coming through.
‘Football is moving on and so is the management side. People shouldn’t be fazed by this at all.
‘He is held in high regard at West Brom, so it would be a bit surprising for him to go – but this would be great for Appie.
‘He has been an integral part of West Brom’s success and where they are now.
‘Appie, like any young manager or coach, will want to do it for himself at a certain point.
‘It could be Portsmouth have got him at the right time, and he now wants to start making his own decisions.
‘I know, from a players’ point of view, he is held in real esteem. That shows his quality.
‘Portsmouth will be getting a very good, very driven and very determined manager with a great work ethic.
‘He’s a great communicator, too, and has a good understanding of players.
‘He will be a young man who will be able to walk in and command respect in an experienced Portsmouth dressing room.
‘You don’t hold a position like he has at West Brom if you don’t have something about you.
‘Good coaches are hard to find, so for Portsmouth to highlight him shows they have done their homework.
‘If he’s appointed, they have got themselves a very good manager.’
Moore was on the training pitch at West Brom in 2001 when Appleton picked up the knee injury which later led to his premature retirement.
He feels that incident fuelled Appleton’s hunger to succeed as a coach.
Moore said: ‘He’s definitely got the credentials to do a good job.
‘His career ended early. I was there on training ground when it happened.
‘One thing about Appie was it didn’t hold him back. He fixed his mind and determination on wanting to learn.
‘He has aspirations of being a top manager and a coach.
‘He’s done all of his badges and he has good experience now.
‘He has gone from the kids to the reserves to the first team at West Brom.
‘Maybe his career wasn’t as long as what he wanted but that has made him more committed on the management side.’