Pompey have been warned: Don’t feel sorry for yourselves.
Michael Appleton has come out fighting in recent days as the ongoing financial crisis and search for a new owner threatens the club’s existence.
But while some would look for the sympathy vote or get down in the dumps, Appleton has reminded his troops that it’s down to them to make the best of the current situation.
Appleton said: ‘I’m not someone who likes to make excuses and I’m probably more “bring it on”, really.
‘We’re in a position that we are, there’s nothing we can do about it other than try to find some owners.
‘I’m not in a position where I can do that. My job is to manage the team.
‘So all I can do is to try to motivate the players as best as I can bearing in mind we’ve got some fantastic staff who help me along the way in doing that.
‘The lads have been positive, but with all of the stuff that’s going on off the field, it’s so, so easy to start feeling sorry for yourselves.
‘That’s the biggest message I have tried to relay to the players.’
Appleton has also made it clear he will not hold back if he feels his players are looking for excuses.
He said: ‘You’ve got to motivate yourself from within.
‘If I start looking around for people to motivate me, apart from the coaching staff, I will not have too many.
‘The players need someone to look up to and someone to get behind them and I will do that the best I can.
‘If they can do that by feeling that they are on top of the world, then I will do that.
‘But if they need an absolute rollicking, then I will do that as well.’