Time to push on and achieve

Joel Ward'Portsmouth V Blackpool'Fratton Park'Saturday 24/9/2011
Joel Ward'Portsmouth V Blackpool'Fratton Park'Saturday 24/9/2011

Joel Ward welcomed new boss Michael Appleton and insisted: Now we can push forward.

Pompey’s homegrown talent spoke of the positivity in the Blues squad over Appleton’s appointment as their manager.

Appleton’s arrival brings a 28-day search for Steve Cotterill’s successor to a close.

Ward believes an end to the uncertainty about the identity of the new man in charge is a boost.

Now the focus can return to on-the-pitch affairs.

Ward said: ‘We’ve met the new manager briefly and it was good to meet him.

‘We can have a bit of stability and hopefully push forward. We will see what he will bring to us.

‘Obviously he will have his own ideas about what he wants to do.

‘We’re all looking forward to working under him.

‘What he has achieved in the game is brilliant.

‘To help take forward a club like West Brom is obviously impressive.

‘Hopefully he can now help us to achieve a bit more.

‘We need someone to take the club forward.

‘It will be good to get to know him.

‘I’m looking forward to working under his lead.’

Ward knows all about Appleton’s premature retirement from the game through injury at the age of 27.

He believes the resilience he showed to bounce back speaks of his character.

Ward said: ‘For any footballer to have to retire early is tough.

‘You never wish that upon anyone.

‘It’s obviously a testament to his character that he has managed to recover from that and push on to do what he is doing now.’