Appleton desperate for Howard patience

Brian Howard is keen to have his future resolved in the next few days
Brian Howard is keen to have his future resolved in the next few days
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Brian Howard has been asked to keep the faith and not follow Simon Gillett out of the Fratton Park exit door.

Former Reading midfielder Howard, who joined Pompey on trial last month, has extended his initial August 1 deadline for his Blues future to be decided.

Howard is now expected to line up against Bolton tomorrow as he waits on the possibility of being allowed to join Pompey once Tal Ben Haim, Dave Kitson and Liam Lawrence leave.

Boss Michael Appleton is fully aware the likes of Millwall and Barnsley are among a number of clubs interested in the 29-year-old’s signature.

Already this week, Gillett ended his trial in order to train with, first, Nottingham Forest and then Barnsley as he seeks to get a deal at a club.

And Pompey’s manager is desperate to prevent Howard taking the same route.

He said: ‘I will sit down and have a chat with Brian and try to give him as much information as I possibly can.

‘I want to try to reassure him that, as and when I get the green light, then I would like to do something.

‘That might not be enough. I will soon find out when I speak to him but hopefully it’s enough to tempt him for a few more days.

‘I have not really got a strong indication of what he thinks – and wouldn’t want to trip myself up in terms of being really confident about it. But he seems in a good place, he seems quite happy – then again I thought Simon Gillett was in a good place and was quite happy and he goes and trains with Forest and Barnsley.

‘I am not going to lose sleep over anything, even though I would love to keep Brian in the building.

‘He’s somebody I want in my team. He can definitely be a key player for this football club.’