Howe: Unity is the key for Blues

Scott Allan & Co are chasing Championship safety
Scott Allan & Co are chasing Championship safety
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Watch: Kenny Jackett's Bury v Pompey press conference

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Eddie Howe believes Pompey have the quality to survive in the Championship.

But the Burnley boss reckons the Blues will only do that by sticking together.

The former Pompey defender guided the Clarets to a thumping 5-1 victory over his old side on Saturday.

Howe spoke of his sympathies for the club he joined in 2002 as they go through their struggles.

The 34-year-old admitted he was impressed with what he saw from Pompey in the first-half before their collapse.

And his homework in the build-up to the game led him to believe there is quality in the side to still give hope of bridging the five-point gap to safety.

Howe said: ‘I have a lot of sympathy for the supporters, coaching staff and players at Portsmouth.

‘None of these people here deserve what has happened.

‘The supporters are magnificent. I know that only too well.

‘They get behind their team and they did that against us.

‘Even at 4-1 they stuck with them.

‘That’s the only chance they’ve got of getting out of trouble – by sticking together.

‘I hope they stay up.

‘The Championship is a better place for Portsmouth being in it.

‘Looking at Hull we saw they were very, very impressive against a top side.

‘Portsmouth worked hard and created numerous chances there.

‘They were outstanding on the night.

‘If that performance was anything to go by and the first 45 minutes on Saturday, I think they have a good shout of staying up.’

Howe also tipped Blues boss Michael Appleton for a bright future as he makes his way in the game.

The pair are two of the youngest bosses in football and are both being tipped for big things.

Howe said: ‘Michael Appleton is a fantastic young manager and the team are doing well under his guidance.

‘He’s level-head conscientious and professional in his outlook.

‘He hasn’t moaned or blamed anybody for the situation he finds himself in.

‘He’s trying to get the best out of the players.

‘I’m sure he has a bright future ahead for him.

‘Hopefully he can earn plaudits for keeping Pompey in the league.’