Appleton plotting life without Thorne

George Thorne will play no further part in Pompey's survival bid because of an ankle injury
George Thorne will play no further part in Pompey's survival bid because of an ankle injury
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Pompey will make a ‘creative’ reshuffle to cope without George Thorne.

The in-form youngster has been ruled out for the season after picking up an ankle injury last weekend.

The loanee has returned to parent club West Brom as a result.

With Hayden Mullins and Liam Lawrence already out on loan, it means Michael Appleton is starved of central-midfield options heading to St Mary’s tomorrow.

To add to the Blues’ woes, Tal Ben Haim is struggling with a calf problem which has kept him out of training for the majority of the week.

Now Blues boss Appleton must spread his small resources as best he can to cover their absences for the south coast derby with Southampton.

He said: ‘George went over on his ankle and took a bit of a knock, too. I don’t think it is going to be a very long one but the fact there are three weeks to go until the end of the season means there is no chance of him playing for us again.

‘What you have to do is utilise the players you’ve got and use a little bit of creativity.

‘Maybe we need to do something a little bit different to bring out the strength of the players we have got in the squad already.

‘For the next three weeks we have to try to come up with ways to try to replace what was a player on top of his game.

‘It will be all hands to the pump. Players are going to have to be prepared to play in numerous positions and be expected to do numerous jobs in different ways.

‘But I think we have an honest bunch. I ask them to do something, there is no pulling of faces. It’s a situation where they know where we are. There are no complaints.’