Pompey boss convinced defender learned from Fratton education

Kevin Long battles for ball'Pompey V Bournemouth'Fratton Park'18/8/2012 Sat 15:00
Kevin Long battles for ball'Pompey V Bournemouth'Fratton Park'18/8/2012 Sat 15:00

Michael Appleton believes Kevin Long benefited from his Pompey experience.

The Blues boss feels the Burnley defender has learned a lot from getting games under his belt at a club of Pompey’s standing.

Long returned to Turf Moor after five Pompey appearances due to injury.

Appleton believes it was a statistic which worked well for all parties.

He said: ‘Kev’s done great for us.

‘He’s a young lad and he has still got loads to learn.

‘He does things in games that people might miss.

‘But we’ve talked to him about it, made him brush up on it and made his skills better.

‘You will only get better by playing.

‘He’s had a great opportunity to play games here.

‘He had the suspension, which he has learned from.

‘It’s been a move which has been good for all parties.’

Long’s loan move to Pompey followed on from temporary stays at Accrington and Rochdale over the past couple of years.

Appleton has little doubt playing at Pompey was more beneficial for the Irishman.

Even taking into account the club’s off-the-pitch difficulties, the expectations at Fratton Park far exceed what he has experienced on his other loans stays.

And Appleton feels that would have helped the 22-year-old.

He said: ‘The only thing which has been missing for Kevin at Burnley is games.

‘He got 30-odd games for Accrington last season in League Two and a few in League One for Rochdale.

‘Being at Portsmouth in League One is different to being at these places, though.

‘With the greatest of respect, it’s a big football club. We’re a big fish in a small pond.

‘The players have to get into their head the expectation levels.

‘They are expected to win, regardless of the resources.

‘The resources suggest we can’t win every game.

‘Some of the teams coming up have huge squads and can utilise that better.

‘They have bigger budgets and can do things we can’t but they are not Portsmouth.’