Appy: No relegation blame for my players

Pompey boss Michael Appleton
Pompey boss Michael Appleton
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Charlton: pre-match talking points

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Michael Appleton has insisted his players shouldn’t be blamed for Pompey’s relegation.

The Blues head to Nottingham Forest on Saturday for their season finale in the knowledge League One football lies ahead.

The City Ground will represent the last Pompey outing for the majority of those players on display.

Focus now is on selling assets and slashing wages for the club to remain in business.

Irrespective of relegation, Appleton believes his battling troops should receive no criticism.

Instead, he points to the plunge into administration and the subsequent 10-point deduction as the reason for the drop to League One.

He said: ‘I think it would take a brave man to be critical of the players for the fact we have gone down.

‘We have gone down because of mismanagement.

‘It’s very easy for us to talk about the 10-point deduction but it is a fact. It is not something being made up or we are trying to use as a cushion.

‘That took us into the bottom three – I know we were out of it on goal difference but basically it was the bottom three.

‘It also gave everyone around us a big, big lift because they had another opportunity to survive.

‘We’ve given it everything we possibly can to try to get out of the situation we were put in.

‘We wanted to make sure, regardless of what happened elsewhere, we put ourselves in a position that if we hadn’t have lost the 10 points we wouldn’t have gone down.

‘We did that with two games to go.

‘In terms of our pride, dignity, whatever you want to call it, we can look ourselves in the mirror.’