Appy: We’ll win ugly if we have to

Pompey boss Michael Appleton is prepared to put his footballing philosophy to one side to win at Burnley tomorrow
Pompey boss Michael Appleton is prepared to put his footballing philosophy to one side to win at Burnley tomorrow
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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Michael Appleton has told his Pompey players: Win ugly if you have to.

The Blues boss takes his side to in-form Burnley tomorrow well aware of the fact that his side have not registered a win away from Fratton Park since March.

And while Appleton believes the biggest change he has tried to implement during his short reign has been to improve the style of play, he is prepared to see Pompey grab a scrappy 1-0 win if it means an end to their woeful away record.

Appleton said: ‘The style of play is probably the biggest thing I have been trying to change.

‘I want to be entertained when I watch the game.

‘You obviously enjoy the game a lot more when you win. But we don’t have any right to win any game of football – especially in the Championship.

‘If there are times when we win ugly – brilliant. That’s fantastic if that’s what we need.

‘But I don’t want to go and watch us and just be bored.

‘I want to be entertained, excited, see us create goal chances and want to give everyone a lift. I think we did that against Leicester and hopefully that will continue this weekend.

‘Burnley are very attack-minded. They have conceded quite a few goals but have scored quite a few as well.

‘So it will probably be an open game, although hopefully not too open.

‘But we want to go there and win the game. I don’t care how we do it.’

Appleton is one of the youngest managers in the Football League and turned 36 last weekend, but faces Burnley boss and former Blues defender Eddie Howe, who is two years his junior.

Howe was believed to be a target for Pompey during their search for a new manager and was an odds-on favourite at one stage of the process.

But now Appleton is in charge, he is determined to put an end to the Blues’ winless away streak.

He said: ‘That record will get broken. Hopefully, it will be this weekend.

‘It’s not a nice one to have and we want to do it as quickly as we possibly can.

‘The players are not daft. They know the situation and that we haven’t been good enough away from home.

‘The lads have got a good feeling about them this week and we need to try to make it continue against a side who are in a rich vein of form.’