Appleton backs Blues’ spirit to conquer Cardiff

David Norris saw red for this challenge on West Ham's Winston Reid
David Norris saw red for this challenge on West Ham's Winston Reid
Reuben Sammut

Pompey bide their time over midfielder

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Michael Appleton is convinced his side’s West Ham fighting spirit augers well for their trip to Cardiff.

The Blues were reduced to 10 men for the final 34 minutes against the Hammers at the weekend.

That was after David Norris was shown a straight red following a challenge on Winston Reid.

It was a decision by referee Kevin Friend which enraged Pompey manager, players and fans alike.

Despite the incident, the Blues knuckled down to produce a gutsy showing and defy their numerical disadvantage against the Championship’s joint-leaders.

They could have even grabbed a late point through a late Marko Futacs thunderbolt and had penalty appeals for handball which were waved away.

On Saturday, Pompey head to third-place Cardiff for another tough fixture.

And the Pompey boss believes his side have nothing to fear if they display the same commitment.

Appleton said: ‘We will rally round and make sure our performance at Cardiff will be something everyone will be proud of.

‘The sending off (on Saturday) put us right on the back foot, but I have got to say the way the players dealt with it from then on was nothing short of first class.

‘If the boys show the same endeavour, attitude and application – as well as the quality we have shown at times, especially with 10 men – then we can produce something.

‘I genuinely believe we have nothing to fear from what I saw Saturday in terms of what we can do, bearing in mind West Ham and where they are in the league.

‘We’ll move on from this.

‘You have got to move on quickly in football. I said that after the Cup defeat against Chelsea.

‘There’s no point looking back. Look forward and I think we’ve got some good games coming up, two good opportunities to go and get the six points. And I genuinely believe we have the quality – just about.’