Home truths helped inspire sensational Blues recovery

Pompey's Kerim Rekik in action at Doncaster this afternoon
Pompey's Kerim Rekik in action at Doncaster this afternoon
Former Pompey manager Alan Ball

On this day: Tributes pour in for former Pompey boss Ball

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Michael Appleton revealed he read the riot act to his men to spark a dramatic comeback at Doncaster.

The Blues came from two goals down at the break to steal a 4-3 victory - with a sensational double salvo in stoppage time.

Pompey were woeful in the first-half with players clearly lacking the stomach for the fight.

Appleton hauled off Kelvin Etuhu before the break for Dave Kitson and then subbed Luke Varney at the interval for teenager Ashley Harris.

Both players were instrumental in the stirring fightback with the Blues a different side after the break.

Appleton made his feelings clear to his players at the interval.

The 36-year-old delivered his thoughts in his own measured way rather than blowing a gasket. It had the desired effect.

Appleton said: ‘Obviously there was a real sense of anger and frustration at half-time.

‘I had to make substitutions before half-time, which I don’t normally like doing.

‘I had to change it again to get a response. I had to tell the players a few home truths about certain situations.

‘I didn’t rant and rave but looked a few people in the eye, so they knew who I meant.

‘We created enough win and we had the strength and the power to do it.’