Appy: We can play our part in finding new buyers

24/11/2011 (SPORT) POMPEY TRAINING''Portsmouth FC players training at Wellington Sports Ground in Eastleigh on Thursday 24th November 2011.''Pictured is: Portsmouth FC manager Michael Appleton during training.''Picture: Sarah Standing (114165-1260)
24/11/2011 (SPORT) POMPEY TRAINING''Portsmouth FC players training at Wellington Sports Ground in Eastleigh on Thursday 24th November 2011.''Pictured is: Portsmouth FC manager Michael Appleton during training.''Picture: Sarah Standing (114165-1260)
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Michael Appleton has told his Pompey players to help attract a new owner.

The Blues boss saw his plans for progress come to a grinding halt just two weeks into his Fratton tenure as owners Convers Sports Initiatives went into administration.

However, The News understands there has already been more interest from potential buyers than there was during the entire period of administration.

There is no doubt it is a positive sign, highlighting the fact the club is now a far more attractive proposition than it was previously.

But until there is anything more concrete than interest, Appleton knows his team have a job to do to put the Blues in the shop window.

And a club pushing for promotion – rather than battling to avoid relegation – would surely generate even more interest. He said: ‘We can only affect what happens on the field.

‘But the likelihood is the results on the field will have an effect on what happens off the field.

‘Good results might attract a buyer for the football club.

‘Hopefully, there are people out there who are prepared to invest in the club.

‘And if we can pick up a few results along the way, it will keep the morale around the place as good as it is at the moment.’

While Appleton has not yet ripped up his plans for the club, they are currently on hold amid the uncertainty.

But he hopes to return to his original vision quickly, if new owners are found who share his views on progress.

He said: ‘I would imagine someone coming in would see the club as an investment.

‘But to make the club an investment, you have to look at the infrastructure as being at the top of the list.

‘If we can find the right people to take over, I’m sure all of the things we talked about on day one can get back on track very quickly.

‘There’s a lot of work that has to be done with the administrators going in and doing what they have to do.

‘As long as we’re getting the feedback from them every inch along the way, we just need to concentrate on the football and hope things can be sorted out off the field.’

Although Appleton is well connected with some high-profile managers in the game, he has yet to call in a favour and ask them how to deal with Pompey’s financial crisis.

Instead, he knows much of the problem is beyond his control.

He said: ‘I’ve had a few calls from friends in the game.

‘When I first took the job, the likes of Sir Alex (Ferguson), David Moyes and Gary Megson said “if you need anything, just pick up the phone”.

‘But I, literally, just try to worry about what happens on the field.

‘The most important people to me are the players and the fans here.

‘We got the opportunity to affect the fans and make them happy with a good result against Coventry.

‘We also had an opportunity to affect each other by putting in a good performance under difficult circumstances.’