Appleton looking to future

Pompey boss eager to see back of off-field financial misery

Michael Appleton: Dreaming of being able to concentrate on football at Portsmouth

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Michael Appleton is dreaming of a day when he can manage Portsmouth without having to worry about off-field problems casting a shadow over the club.

The 36-year-old's first management job has been a baptism of fire, as just two weeks after being appointed, former chairman Vladimir Antonov was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

Coupled with a 10-point deduction for going into administration in February, it has been a rocky road into management for the former West Brom assistant.

"I cannot wait for the day when I can do what I am supposed to - managing the team. I'd love to have a level playing field. I crave that," Appleton told The Sun.

"I remember saying to the lads, 'This is what we get paid to do.' Then I realised we were not being paid."

Michael Appleton

Quotes of the week

"I remember saying to the lads, 'This is what we get paid to do.' Then I realised we were not being paid.

"It's been a very long few months. You are talking about people's livelihoods, about redundancies and not getting paid.

Figurehead

"As manager, you're supposed to be the figurehead, the man holding it together.

"I cannot afford to have a bad day and that has been the biggest challenge. I am not allowed to have a bad day because, if I have a bad one, everyone else does."

Despite the problems, Appleton is remaining positive and hopes Tuesday's 4-1 win over Birmingham will give the players a boost and help them avoid relegation to League One.

"It was a great result to beat Birmingham but we need to focus on Coventry. I have told the lads we want to be in this arm wrestle for as long as possible," he added.

"None of us at this club are anything to do with old regimes. We hope to start afresh next season and in the Championship."