Blues boss blocked in bid for right-hand man

Ashley Westwood in his playing days for Stevenage Borough
Ashley Westwood in his playing days for Stevenage Borough
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 been blocked from bringing in a new first-team coach.

Pompey’s boss had lined up former Manchester United team-mate Ashley Westwood to become his right-hand man.

Currently a player with Lincoln, Westwood has already informed the Imps of his intentions to move to Fratton Park.

Yet the bombshell was yesterday dropped on Appleton that the Blues do not have the finance to employ him.

With the players returning for pre-season training on Monday, it leaves just Guy Whittingham among the coaching ranks.

For Appleton, it is another blow as he seeks to rebuild the club for the League One campaign.

And he remains in the dark when he will be able to employ Westwood as his first-team coach.

He said: ‘The problem is, I cannot do any more at the moment in terms of bringing someone in.

‘Ashley is someone I am aware of because I have played with him in the past and he is a friend of mine.

‘As it stands at the moment, though, I am not going to be able to bring in another member of staff.

‘That might change next week, who knows? I don’t even know if he will be there Monday.

‘Ashley would be ideal to be first-team coach here.

‘He has a good pedigree and experience of playing in the Premier League with Bradford.

‘In fact, he has played at every level of the game, including non-league.

‘I know he will be honest and not afraid to speak his mind to me or the players, which is what I’m looking for.’

Pompey have been one body down in the coaching department since Stuart Gray was made redundant at the end of last season.