Appy: Let’s show our pride for last time

Pompey manager Michael Appleton  Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey manager Michael Appleton Picture: Robin Jones
Jack Whatmough, Matt Clarke and Dion Donohue stunned after Pompey concede a second at Bradford. Picture: Joe Pepler/ PinPep

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Michael Appleton has asked his Pompey troops for one last show of pride.

The Blues boss admits that, for the first time since his appointment, he is fearful over the response he will get from his players for the trip to Nottingham Forest.

That’s because they have nothing left to play for after last week’s relegation, while many know they will leave the club in the summer.

Despite that, Appleton hopes his squad can find the motivation to dig deep for the final time this term.

‘For the first time I’m not sure what I am going to get from the players because it’s been such a difficult week,’ said Appleton.

‘It’s going to be a difficult game and it’s probably the only game where I have gone into it a bit concerned about the outcome.

‘We have got our own personal pride and dignity to think of and we’ve got a fantastically-loyal support who will be there.

‘We have to make sure we put on a performance for them. It’s an opportunity to show a little bit of pride. We will have a lot of travelling fans at the game and we know what our fans are like.

‘Hopefully we can give them something to shout about.’

While the Pompey boss knows he will be seeing many of his players leave the club at the end of the season, he believes they have their futures to play for – even if that is elsewhere.

Appleton said: ‘The players have an opportunity to put themselves in the shop window. I expect that there will be plenty of scouts there.

‘Hopefully, they will respond to that and put on a decent performance.’

He added: ‘They are still being paid to play football and it’s more than the amateur person who wakes up with a hangover every Sunday morning and still puts his boots on.

‘But I’ll be glad when the season is over. There needs to be an end point because it’s the end of the season and we can put the bad times behind us and look forward to the future.’