Michael Appleton saluted Pompey’s well-earned draw at Leicester and insisted: This shows there’s hope for 2012.
But the Blues boss admits he is braced for a ‘difficult’ next few weeks as he waits to discover the club’s plans in the January transfer window.
Appleton was buoyed by Pompey’s display at the King Power Stadium, as Marko Futacs’ opener helped secure a 1-1 draw.
The visitors put together some attractive football at times and had chances to come away with all three points against one of the strongest sides in the Championship.
Off the pitch, the Blues were given a boost with news that a new owner could be in place in the next two weeks.
And Appleton feels that – along with the Blues’ performance – provides reasons to be optimistic entering the new year.
He said: ‘We’ll go into the new year with a little bit of confidence because it was a great performance at Leicester, and you can tell from the reaction of the players coming in that they know they’ve put a decent shift in.
‘We never created nowhere near enough chances at Millwall last week yet, after that performance on Saturday, especially the second half, we’re a little disappointed we didn’t get the three points.
‘But it’s one of them where you just keep taking the points and racking them up and, hopefully, you have enough with 10 games to go to either push for the play-offs or just make sure you sustain your position in the league.
‘I think this shows we can have a lot of optimism going into 2012 because Leicester are a very good side but we more than matched them.’
On the developments with a potential new owner, Appleton added: ‘I think they’re getting a lot closer than they were two weeks ago in terms of finding a solution.
‘I think it would do everyone the world of good if we can get it done in the next week or two.
‘If owners want to seriously take the club forward, there’s no better time to do it than in January because you can make an impact on the team and help me out as well.’
While Appleton was boosted by the Leicester display, he is still waiting to discover what he will be allowed to do in the current transfer window.
The Blues manager is yet to be informed by club chief executive David Lampitt and is in the dark over whether he can even tie up any possible loan deals.
Appleton said: ‘I think the football club are waiting on some kind of clarification from the Football League to as and when we can do a little bit of business.
‘It’s frustrating from my point of view but I’ve got more than 11 different players to choose from – only just, I might add – but it’s going to be a difficult next couple of weeks because you can line players up in terms of targets on loan but if you don’t do things quickly, you do tend to lose out.
‘I’ll be pushing really hard to speak to the powers that be at the football club to try to make something happen because we don’t want to get left behind.
‘I hope and pray that I’m given the opportunity to bring in really good players.
‘I’m not expecting to get millions of pounds to spend but it would be nice just to wheel and deal and get a couple of loans in for fresh faces.’
Appleton added: ‘I’m told I’ll get an answer very quickly.
‘I hope that is the case because I’d hate to start losing out on players, especially to our rivals in and around where we are at the minute.
‘That would be a real shame and would put everyone at the club under real pressure, including myself, and there’d be no need for it. I’d just like to know where the parameters are.
‘Hopefully, there’s not a situation where we have to get rid of players to get players in.
‘If we can add to what we’ve got it’s going to be better for everyone.’