Appleton: Crisis will make me stronger

Pompey boss Michael Appleton Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey boss Michael Appleton Picture: Robin Jones
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Michael Appleton asses-sed the looming financial crisis at Pompey and declared: This will make me a better manager.

The 35-year-old has been in the job for just three weeks but has already seen the club’s future thrown into doubt after club owners Convers Sports Initiatives went into administration.

But Appleton has already shrugged off the idea that he made a mistake in agreeing to become Blues boss.

And he even believes the experience will improve him as a manager.

Appleton said: ‘I’ve spoken to different people in football over the past few days.

‘If anything, it’s probably going to make me better quicker than I would have expected.

‘I will probably learn more in the next 18 months than I probably would have if I was in management for 10 years.

‘If I can do that in 18 months – I’m not brilliant at maths – but I will be 37 and have the experience of a 47-year-old.’

While Appleton could be forgiven for complaining that the job is not what he was shown in the brochure when he left West Brom, he remains positive that the situation will be resolved.

And in his short time at the helm, he has already tapped into the club mentality of “us against the world”.

He said: ‘You’ve got to be optimistic.

‘I’m a really positive person. We are where we are and all we can do is try to put it right.

‘This club has been in this situation a few times already and it has always come out fighting.

‘Where the fault is or who is to blame, I’m not sure, but I know I have a role to do on the football side of things and that’s what I will continue to do.

‘All I can do is assure the fans that, from a team and players’ point of view, I will make sure they conduct themselves properly 100 per cent and prepare for every single game as they were before this happened.’

It’s especially harsh on a rookie manager in his first job to be landed in this situation.

While there was grand talk of a five-year plan to put his stamp on the club, Appleton admits he now has to put his faith in those in charge to find new investment.

He said: ‘There’s a delay in that plan because we need to find an owner for the club.

‘If we find an owner who has the same sort of plan as we had in the first place then things won’t change at all.

‘At the moment, we’re in a situation where we need backing and we need someone to come in and take the club forward.

‘But David (Lampitt, chief executive) and the powers that be are trying very hard to put it right.

‘They did it in the past and got the club to a situation where everyone thought that everything was fine.

‘The administrators will play a big part in trying to put the club right again.

‘But a lot of the stuff off the field, I can’t do anything about.

‘When it comes to dealing with investors and all that kind of stuff, I can’t control any of that. It’s all out of my hands.

‘All I want is to be kept in the loop and I’m sure that will be the case.’