Appy: Keeping up impetus is key

Pompey manager Michael Appleton  Picture: Barry Zee
Pompey manager Michael Appleton Picture: Barry Zee

Michael Appleton demanded his players keep the momentum generated by their upwardly-mobile form going tonight.

And the Blues boss warned against his men underestimating Wycombe at Fratton Park.

Appleton believes the League Two side will go into the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie with the shackles off and without pressure.

Pompey’s form is picking up after they collected seven points from their past three league games.

Appleton feels it’s key that none of the impetus is lost against Gareth Ainsworth’s side tonight.

He said: ‘Listen, I want to win the game.

‘There’s a bit of momentum now and we don’t want to sacrifice that by losing a game.

‘It’s been difficult for them.

‘It might well be light relief for them to get away from the league and their position.

‘It’s an opportunity for them to enjoy coming to Fratton Park.

‘Portsmouth is a scalp for anyone in League One, so they will see it that way as well.

‘We’ve got to look at it professionally and turn it into a good cup tie.’

A win against Wycombe tonight would leave Pompey four victories from making the final of the competition they are playing in for the first time.

Appleton is not looking that far down the line, however, although he does feel the match will provide a platform for players to stake a claim for starting against Crewe this weekend.

Appleton said: It’s dangerous to look too far ahead.

‘If you can get into the area final, the two-legged final, then it is going to be on players’ minds.

‘Until then it’s an opportunity for players who aren’t playing in league fixtures.

‘It’s an opportunity for me to see them in a competitive game and see whether they are ready to play in the league fixtures we have coming up.

‘We’ve got two home games after the game against Wycombe. So this weekend we need to be in a decent position in terms of who we can play.’