Appleton shrugs off Pompey job fears

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Michael Appleton has no fears over his Pompey future following the re-emergence of Portpin.

Balram Chainrai and Levi Kushnir have staged a U-turn and returned to the negotiating table in the hunt for the club’s ownership.

The latest twist surprised Appleton, who recently had a run-in with Balram Chainrai after his proposed budget was slashed from £4m to £1.5m.

He later publicly accused the twice-Pompey owners as ‘slightly unprofessional’.

Barely 48 hours later, Portpin pulled out of buying the club, criticising Appleton, the fans and the Trust.

Inevitably, the potential return of Chainrai and Kushnir as owners has raised concerns over the manager’s long-term Fratton Park future.

Regardless, Appleton has no regrets over his comments which may have stung the duo.

And he remains relaxed over what may lie in store for him should Portpin beat the Trust to the club.

He said: ‘What I said was not a criticism of them, it was a criticism of the situation and the timing.

‘Maybe that’s the first time I have been a little bit naïve but that was just me being honest.

‘I’m not hiding behind things.

‘If they want to have a pop at me in the press I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

‘If people have got a problem with me let them deal with it, whatever they feel they need to do. I’m a big man, I can handle it.

‘At the end of the day, we are a football club who needs an owner, we need to move forward and we need to move forward quickly.

‘What will be, will be, regarding Michael Appleton.

‘I will do my job to the best of my ability.

‘I work every day with those players on the training field, say everything I think and am straight with people.

‘If it upsets people and they don’t like it, I genuinely don’t mean to do that – but if people want to come in and want their own people then so be it.

‘Michael Appleton moves on and does his own thing.

‘I can’t control that. All I can control is a group of players and a group of staff who work their socks off and hopefully the fans appreciate it.

‘I cannot control it if someone wants to come in and take my job away from me.

‘I know I can look at myself in the mirror every single night knowing I am doing my job to the best of my ability.’

The Trust are expected to submit their final bid to Trevor Birch today.

The administrator will then determine which of the two offers on the table provides the best deal for the club’s creditors.

Appleton, who has not spoken to Portpin for two weeks, is unaware of the details of their latest bid.

In turn he is also unsure of what budget they may be willing to offer.

He added: ‘I was a little bit surprised to hear they are back.

‘I shouldn’t be, though. I have been here long enough – I shouldn’t be surprised by anything.

‘If the Supporters’ Trust bid can’t happen for whatever reason – and Portpin are the only people in town – then maybe we have to somehow educate them to start thinking forward.

‘I would be interested to see their business plan, though.’