Appleton - I can't ask for more
Michael Appleton admits Portsmouth's off-field troubles will make it difficult to maintain player morale after a 1-0 defeat at Birmingham.
Last Updated: 08/02/12 7:29am
Michael Appleton admits Portsmouth's off-field troubles will make it difficult to maintain player morale after a 1-0 defeat at Birmingham City, whose manager Chris Hughton praised match-winner Nathan Redmond.
Pompey produced a battling performance at St Andrew's on Tuesday evening, but were sunk by teenage winger Redmond's volley with four minutes left.
Portsmouth's players and staff are still waiting to receive their January wages after the club's bank accounts were frozen having been issued with a winding-up order by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill.
Appleton revealed there are no new developments in the club's battle for financial survival, but said: "I'm hoping for news over the next couple of days because the longer it goes on, obviously, the more difficult it's going to be to keep morale up and keep the players in a positive frame of mind.
"They're a decent bunch of lads, who've had to take a lot of hits over the last couple of months or so with everything that's going on, especially in the last week not being paid.
"I can't really any ask for any more effort.
"I tried to remind them before the game this evening of why we all started playing football in the first place, it's because we love the game and we enjoy it."
Redmond's contribution wrote the latest chapter in the promising teenager's rise, with the substitute making a lively impact on a largely lifeless encounter before showing great technique to clinch matters.
The Birmingham-born Academy graduate is attracting plenty of attention for his exploits this term, and manager Hughton is under no illusions about how good he can become although while also keeping his feet on the floor.
"He's a wonderful player," said the Blues boss.
"He's a real talent, we genuinely don't like to get too carried away about players because we've seen it before when you get a player who doesn't get to the levels you think he is going to.
"At the moment I think we've managed him quite well."
Hughton added: "Certainly he's a talent, we'd like to think he'll be a player for the future."
Birmingham's final game in hand following their European exertions moved them up to third in the Championship table - just two points adrift of the automatic promotion places.
Hughton said: "As a manager you're always very guarded because you want confidence in the team.
"I'm not one to look at the league table every day, but you know in this division that as well as your form can get you in there, two or three losses on the spin can make you go the other way. So you can never afford to get carried away.
"But the players, particularly with the season we've had and the amount of games, thoroughly deserve to be where they are."