‘Under the cosh’: Former Portsmouth boss’ honest assessment as Charlton Athletic snare Fratton point

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The former Pompey boss gave a typically fair assessment of the meeting with his Charlton Athletic side

Michael Appleton admitted Charlton had to deal with a second-half firestorm to land a Pompey point.

The Addicks twice came from behind to grab a 2-2 draw at Fratton Park with a stoppage-time leveller.

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It meant the Londoner’s seven-game winning streak at PO4 came to a close, but it still felt like Appleton’s side left with the upper hand with the Blues’ performance arguably warranting a greater reward.

The former Blues boss acknowledged his side were under the pump at times, but was pleased with the character they showed.

Appleton told the South London Press: ‘We lived through a lot of things today, didn’t we? They came out of the blocks really quickly in the first five minutes and we dealt with it and had the better moments in the first half.

‘We should have done better with some of the opportunities we had. Let’s face it – we had to defend really well for 25 minutes of the second half. They put us under the cosh.

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‘The really, really pleasing thing for me is that the players didn’t go under. It’s so easy to go under in those moments when you come to a side that is top of the league and hasn’t been beaten for god knows how many games and hasn’t lost a game here since March, or whenever it is.

‘It is so easy to go under. Yes, you need your goalkeeper to make some saves. Absolutely, of course you do. He made some brilliant saves. But it was more the stuff going on in front of him that pleased me. We had to get blocks. They are very, very dangerous from set-plays and we knew that before the game. Their record from set-pieces is superb.

‘There were a lot of things I’ve probably not seen as much in the first two to three months of being at the football club. I’ve seen a lot of great attacking play and good finishing – I’ve given a lot of credit to the players for them type of things. But tonight we did the other side really well.’

Charlton were indebted to an outstanding display from keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer which allowed them to leave Pompey with a return.

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Appleton acknowledged the Aussie was outstanding, even after conceding a second-half penalty.

He added: ‘Typical Ash – he is gutted in the dressing room because he has given the penalty away,

‘You have to remind him sometimes, he made three excellent saves before that – almost at point-blank range. We’re thankful for that and it’s why he is in the place he is in and gets called up by Australia every time there is internationals.

‘We know the quality he has got and what he’s capable of. I’m just glad he was right at it today.’

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