Appleton hits out at Scapuzzi quit decision

Luca Scapuzzi, right, has returned to Manchester City
Luca Scapuzzi, right, has returned to Manchester City

Michael Appleton has fired a broadside at Luca Scapuzzi after the youngster opted to quit Pompey.

The Manchester City midfielder yesterday turned down the option of extending his emergency loan until the end of the season.

He has now returned to the Etihad Stadium with two matches remaining.

Appleton admitted the 21-year-old’s decision had come as a shock.

Earlier this week, the Blues boss revealed Scapuzzi was still part of his plans and likely to feature before the end of the campaign.

Yet the former Oldham loanee was frustrated after playing just 16 minutes during Pompey’s past seven matches.

Appleton criticised the Italian’s decision to walk away from Fratton Park, though.

He said: ‘We had to renew his loan by the end of play yesterday.

‘When it came to it, there were messages he was wanting to play more, which I understood.

‘I said to him he would have a good chance of playing some minutes over the next two games due to the fact Chris Maguire can’t play tomorrow and Kelvin (Etuhu) is having a bit of a bad time of it. So there may have been an opportunity there.

‘For some reason, though, he wanted to return to Man City.

‘I am not trying to be big or clever but I genuinely only want people who wish to play for the football club. If they don’t, I am not interested.

‘I have spoken to him, he’s fine, he just feels he wants to return to Manchester City and train with their reserves. I wish him all the best.

‘I have been on loan as a young player. Sometimes you have to ride it out. Sometimes it’s difficult in life when things are going bad and you need to work yourself out of it.

‘At some point down the line, he is not going to get into Manchester City’s first team and I am sure he will gain that experience where he realises it is not easy to just go and walk into anyone’s team.

‘He will have to realise whether you play fantastically well in training or coming off the bench that you need to make sure you stand out.’