Appy’s honest admission over Pompey job

Pompey manager Michael Appleton Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey manager Michael Appleton Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey's Brett Pitman celebrates after scoring his second goal in their 2-0 win at Oldham. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

Oldham 0 Pompey 2: they said what?

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Pompey manager Michael Appleton surveyed the financial crisis at the club and admitted: Nobody would take this job at the moment.

The Blues boss has already won huge respect from the Fratton faithful for the way he has faced the club’s mounting problems, which are now set to lead to administration.

While Appleton has declared he has no intention of walking away from Pompey, he has been honest enough to admit he would not have taken the job in its current guise.

Appleton said: ‘I had opportunities to leave West Brom well before I came to Portsmouth but they were not right for me.

‘Coming to Portsmouth wasn’t a gamble at the time.

‘It was a secure football club with secure owners and it was all hunky-dory.

‘There was a five-year plan where they wanted to improve the infrastructure, the Academy and the squad.

‘It was all in place, so it wasn’t a gamble as such.

‘I can’t control what has happened since then.

‘The job that was in front of me at that time was different to what it is now.

‘It’s a completely different scenario.

‘I’m not bemoaning the situation. I’m just trying to deal with it.

‘So would I have taken this job on right now in the position we’re in rather than staying as assistant at West Brom?

‘I don’t think anyone would.’

Despite effectively having the rug pulled from under his feet within a matter of weeks of taking charge, the former Manchester United midfielder remains confident in his ability to lead Pompey back to the Premier League if he is given the backing.

Appleton said: ‘I genuinely do back myself and I would gladly put it in writing on a contract.

‘Given the tools, the right squad and a level playing field, I would back myself to get us out of this division – or at the absolute minimum, get in the play-offs.

‘I can’t sign that right now, though!

‘I say to the players “if we can perform and deal with all the rubbish that’s going on under these circumstances, imagine how good it’s going to be when we are all given the tools to do our job properly”.

‘Someone said to me 95 per cent of managers will never go through what I’ve been through in the past three months, ever in their careers. So if anything, it will make me stronger.’

Appleton added: ‘The only gamble was, can Michael Appleton step from being a number two to a number one?

‘It’s down to the public, the players and the fans to decide whether I can do that job.

‘I’m happy with how I’ve dealt with that so far.

‘Hopefully, Portsmouth will continue to allow me to do that role and do it to the best of my ability.’