Appy eager to silence the doubters

Pompey manager Michael Appleton
Pompey manager Michael Appleton
Sylvain Deslandes could play at left-back if Dion Donohue is switched to midfield

Pompey boss encouraged by ‘good options’

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Michael Appleton insists he is looking forward to silencing the doubters who have already written off Pompey.

The Blues boss saw his side drop to second from bottom in the Championship table after the 0-0 draw with Leeds, as the club’s relegation rivals picked up results.

But Appleton has taken careful note of the comments and assumptions surrounding his side’s demise and is determined to prove them all spectacularly wrong.

Appleton said: ‘There are that many things going against us at the minute that there are probably a lot of people doubting us.

‘That’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as we keep the belief in the dressing room.

‘I’m actually enjoying the fact we’ve been written off and I hope the players are the same.

‘I think pretty much everyone outside of this club expects us to give up the fight and get relegated.

‘So we’ve got to make sure we ram those thoughts and those sentiments down every single person’s throat who thinks it.

‘I will hopefully remind each and every one of those individuals who have had something to say about it.

‘I will be doing my best over the remaining games to make that happen.

‘You don’t win games just on ability and being organised. You need that belief to go with it as well.

‘So we will keep sending the same message to the players.’

While the Blues sunk into the relegation zone – and could even have been bottom of the table had Peterborough not equalised in stoppage time at Doncaster – Appleton remains positive his men can still climb away from danger with 14 matches left this season.

He said: ‘It’s not a situation where there are three games left, where we need to win every game and the other teams need to lose every game.

‘Even though we’ve got such a small squad, we’re still in a position where we can be competitive.

‘We’ve got eight games just in March.

‘And we’ve still got a lot of points to play for.

‘We’re not in absolute dire straits in terms of the football side of it. The financial side of it might be, but although it doesn’t look great, it’s not the end of the world just yet.’