Appy: Forget more Pompey deals for now

Pompey manager Michael Appleton Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey manager Michael Appleton Picture: Robin Jones
Brett Pitman celebrates scoring the opening goal in Pompey's win against Southend

Stats prove Pompey depend on opening goal

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Michael Appleton has admitted his transfer activity is over until new ownership is confirmed.

The Pompey boss has seen his recruitment plans in the January transfer window hampered by Football League restrictions which will not allow him to sign anyone, unless he offloads existing members of his squad.

With Hermann Hreidarsson completing a switch to Coventry this week, the Blues boss was able to seal a move for long-term target Kelvin Etuhu, with the deal finally rubber-stamped yesterday.

But Appleton knows he now has to make do with what he’s got, with none of his other players set for exits.

Appleton said: ‘I’m under the impression that if one went out, one could come in.

‘So as Hermann has left the building, we’ve managed to bring Kelvin into the club.

‘I’m not anywhere near getting anyone else out of the club – not from my point of view.

‘We are down to 13 senior players at the minute with injuries and suspensions.

‘For me to bring anyone else in and get rid of anyone else would be a little bit irresponsible. If we had 17 or so back fit, then we might have an option.’

With prospective new owner Joseph Cala ending his interest in Pompey yesterday, Appleton’s patience will again been tested as he continues to battle through with a skeleton squad while he waits for someone to take control.

He said: ‘I’m in the same boat as everyone.

‘I keep getting told it’s close and to be patient.

‘I’m a reasonably patient man but you can only be pushed so much.

‘To be honest, you get bored of talking about it.

‘You think, “I can’t really affect that, so I will focus all my energies on the players who are actually at the club”.’

For the time being, Appleton must therefore shift out current squad members to make room for new additions, which he does not envisage happening.

He said: ‘What I see as a better option is someone making a decision and taking over the football club and then I can do what I want. That would be nice!

‘Then I could bring in five or six and not let anyone out.

‘But it’s alright saying “get someone out” but if a player doesn’t want to leave, it means you are doing something right and something good is happening at the club.

‘I want to strengthen the squad and I want to bring players in but I also want the players at the club to realise how important they are.’

Appleton also believes his squad have been unaffected by the ongoing ownership discussions.

He said: ‘We feel that we’re in a good place within ourselves, regardless of everything that’s going on off the field.

‘I think everyone is in a pretty positive frame of mind.

‘Sometimes they need a little bit of a lift and when they found out Kelvin was able to sign, it gave everyone a lift.

‘They know what he can do and the attributes he can bring to the table.’