Appy challenges Pompey to grind out points

Pompey boss Michael Appleton
Pompey boss Michael Appleton
Former Pompey manager Alan Ball

On this day: Tributes pour in for former Pompey boss Ball

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Michael Appleton believes Pompey’s uncertain start to the season reflects where his club stands at present.

But the Blues boss has called on his men to eke out a couple of results to give themselves a chance of success later in the campaign.

Pompey have picked up a single win, two draws and four defeats from their first seven League One fixtures.

Appleton feels the ongoing wait for the club to exit administration and unsettled nature of his side are key factors in that run.

But he pointed to Reading’s form in the Championship last season, where they lost five games early on before going on to win the league, as reason for hope.

The 36-year-old wants his men to grind out results until things settle behind the scenes.

Appleton said: ‘It’s one of those where the uncertain position we’re in in the league at the minute is pretty much where the club is.

‘That’s not going to change and the position and results aren’t going to change in terms of being positive all the time until there’s stability at the club.

‘We’re only seven games into it, so I’m not getting too carried away. There’s actually 39 league games left.

‘My maths ain’t particularly great but that tells me there’s 117 points to play for.

‘You only have to look at what Reading did last season.

‘They lost five games at the start of the season and won their league at a canter.

‘It just helps week to week, day by day if we are picking up the odd result.

‘Then, when the takeover happens and there is a good mood and stability about the place, the results will improve.

‘We are where we are. I’m not going to lie and talk rubbish to people.

‘That’s where it is.’

Appleton used his 10th central-defensive partnership of the season against Swindon on Tuesday night.

That fact alone tells it all for the Pompey boss.

He said: ‘I thought I was getting somewhere in the summer when I was putting a squad together in the budget I was given.

‘I tried to plan but you can’t plan with any real certainty. It’s a case of, “okay, we have scenario A, then if not it’s scenarios B, C, D, E and F”.

‘We’ve used 10 centre-half partnerships so far this season. It’s crazy.

‘The amount of debuts and players we’ve had to play out of position is crazy. We don’t have any continuity.’