Appy coy over Pompey future

Michael Appleton    Picture: Barry Zee
Michael Appleton Picture: Barry Zee
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Appleton insists he’ll do what’s right for him as a manager as speculation over his future persists.

The Blues boss has been linked with the managerial vacancies at Burnley and Bolton in recent weeks.

While the latter have moved to make Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman their new manager, Burnley are understood to be interested in Appleton after what he has achieved in difficult circumstances at Fratton Park.

And with his stock rising further after steering Pompey to a fourth league win in five games against Shrewsbury on Saturday, the 36-year-old remains among the bookies’ favourites for a move to his native north west.

The former West Brom coach has previously stated he’s ‘settled’ on the south coast.

And he reiterated that point after Saturday’s 3-1 home win over the Shrews.

But with no sign of the rumours linking him with a move away abating – and Appleton yet to rule himself out of a switch – doubts remain over his future ahead of tonight’s League One trip to Stevenage.

The Pompey boss was given the chance to stress his commitment to the club.

Yet rather than pour cold water on reports and reaffirm his Blues loyalty, Appleton admitted he would ultimately do what’s best for him.

‘I don’t think Trevor (Birch) has had any approaches,’ he said.

‘But I think it’s one of them where there’s still a lot of things that need to be answered – like where the football club is going?

‘From my point of view, I’m enjoying working under the difficult circumstances down here and so are the players.

‘So it will be a situation where, if an approach to the football club is made, no-one can stop them making that approach.

‘But whether that’s the right move for Michael Appleton or whether Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea or Leeds is the right move for Michael Appleton, at the end of the day, at the minute, am I enjoying myself? Yes.

‘Am I enjoying the work that has to be put in? Yes, I am.’

Appleton also revealed he would seek talks with Pompey’s potential new owners before committing his future to the club.

The Pompey Supporters’ Trust were named as administrators PKF’s preferred bidders last Thursday.

And he intends to speak to Trust representatives later this week to determine whether his ambitions for the club can be met.

‘It will probably be towards the end of the week that we can sit down and have a good chat,’ said Appleton.

‘From my point of view we’ve got to make sure the future of the football club is secure.

‘We’ve got to make sure that we’re not going to fall into the trap of administration once again.

‘So it will be interesting to see what is behind the backing and what type of money is involved.

‘From the players’ point of view, they’re going to get to the point where they want to sign longer-term contracts and we need to be able to do that if we can.’