Appleton fears end of his Pompey vision

Michael Appleton
Michael Appleton
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Michael Appleton has pledged not to let Pompey’s financial woes distract his side – yet he fears the end of his grand Blues vision.

The club has been plunged into crisis after owners Convers Sports Initiatives were put into administration.

The bombshell was delivered just 15 days into Appleton’s tenure as Pompey boss.

Upon his unveiling, the 35-year-old had revealed his ambition for the club.

That involved a five-year plan focused on transforming the youth and reserve set-ups as well as directing first-team operations.

Today such aspirations hang in the balance as the club fights for its future.

And Appleton admits he is unsure whether such dreams will now ever come to fruition.

He said: ‘We have a game on Saturday, we are on a four match unbeaten run at home and need to continue that record and try to get ourselves away from that drop zone.

‘Ultimately I cannot control what happens off the field, that is not my area.

‘I am obviously disappointed with what has happened because I wanted to have an opportunity to take the club forwards.

‘On day one of arriving I mentioned a five-year plan – who knows where we stand with that now?

‘It’s too early days for me to think too far into the future, though. With everything that has happened, I am literally taking things hour-by-hour and day-by-day at the moment.

‘We have been told in the short-term we will be paid and the club will run as normal. What we have not had proper clarification on is what does short-term mean?

‘The football club have said they will carry on as normal and do not think points will be deducted. But until there is proper clarification we don’t know how that is going to end up either.

‘I am manager of the football club and my job is to keep my staff and players focused as best I can over the days, weeks and months.

‘All I can do is help people’s spirits, assist them in maintaining a positive frame of mind – and winning games.’

For some of Appleton’s backroom staff, it is a familiar scenario.

Pompey last went into administration in February 2010, emerging eight months later.

He added: ‘It is a difficult situation, but I am probably more new to it than anyone else. Others have a lot more experience than I have and I am getting guided a bit by them at the moment.

‘I’ve already had a good chat with the backroom staff, which has helped me understand a few things.

‘The players had left the training ground when the news broke on Tuesday and were off yesterday. I will have a conversation with them today before training.’