Appleton will be no Pompey risk

Michael Appleton is tipped for success at Pompey
Michael Appleton is tipped for success at Pompey
Matt Clarke celebrates his goal at MK Dons. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Appleton is not a risky appointment as Pompey boss.

That’s the verdict of Bristol City manager and former West Bromwich Albion team-mate Derek McInnes.

McInnes is convinced his close friend possesses the qualities to be a success in the Fratton Park hot seat.

Appleton will today be unveiled as Pompey boss on a three-and-a-half year deal.

For some, his managerial inexperience makes him a surprise choice to replace Steve Cotterill.

But McInnes has no qualms over the 35-year-old’s credentials.

The new Ashton Gate boss knows Appleton better than most from their Hawthorns days together, with the duo keeping in touch ever since.

And he is adamant the Pompey managerial target has the drive, determination and ability to be a Fratton Park hit.

He said: ‘Some say this is a risky option but you have got to know the person and what he is all about.

‘I can tell you, this is no risk.

‘Appy has a good knowledge of football and is a good judge of a player.

‘He is a very determined individual who will expect a certain standard from his players.

‘You can be sure he will instill the right work ethic.

‘I keep in touch with him and he has always wanted to go and be a manager in his own right.

‘In the conversations we’ve had, he has made no secret of his ambition and desire to take charge of a football club. It’s just about timing.

‘That time is now and it is at Portsmouth because I have no doubts Appy will be a success. Absolutely none.

‘This is somebody who has worked his way up through the coaching set-up at West Brom.

‘He has worked with players at Championship level and then been in the Premier League for a couple of seasons.

‘Appy has certainly enjoyed his time there and now he has an opportunity at Portsmouth – and I am sure he will meet that challenge head on.

‘It is a very good appointment.’

The duo were part of the Baggies side who won promotion to the Premier League in 2001-02.

McInnes later returned to his native Scotland, becoming St Johnstone manager in November 2007 when Owen Coyle left for Burnley.

Just three weeks ago he was named Bristol City boss.

Now he’s looking at his former midfield partner following him into management.

He added: ‘Myself and Appy were both signed by Gary Megson.

‘I enjoyed playing alongside him in midfield, he’s a great pro and totally dedicated.

‘I was there on the training ground the day he got the injury which finished his career. It looked so innocuous.

‘Appy never gave it up and worked hard to get back.

‘Fortunately for West Brom he stayed on as a coach.’