Michael Appleton has expressed his disappointment at Bournemouth’s south coast spite after they chose to recall Wes Thomas.
The on-loan striker was due to play what was expected to be his final game for Pompey in Monday night’s League One clash at Sheffield United, with his deal set to expire on Tuesday.
But new Cherries boss Eddie Howe has instead ordered him back for training on Monday morning – even though they don’t have a midweek game.
It has left Appleton questioning the motives behind the move.
And he hinted it could affect the relationship between the clubs in future.
The Blues boss said: ‘I’m a little bit disappointed with the way Bournemouth handled it.
‘You look at it one way and you can’t blame them because it’s their player and they probably see us as a competitor, which is completely understandable.
‘But the other side of it is that if he goes back, is he going to get used?
‘They certainly don’t want to do us any favours, do they?
‘You live and learn and you don’t forget.
‘I will have a conversation with Eddie at some point.
‘But who knows if this will sour the relationship we have with Bournemouth in the future?’
Appleton was prepared for Thomas’ departure next week and does have an as yet un-named replacement lined up ready to sign in time for the Blades clash.
While Appleton refused to give any details away, the striker is believed to be at a Championship club.
Appleton said: ‘It’s 99.9-per-cent done that he will be here on Monday.
‘There are two or three different people we could do something with over the weekend but they come in a one-two-three order, so I wouldn’t like to say who they are.
‘We think we are there with having sorted it out with our top target.
‘To be honest, I would still be trying to do something with him if Wes was here, anyway.’
Had Pompey’s game at Bramall Lane not been moved for TV purposes, Thomas would have played.
And Appleton is hopeful the 25-year-old, who has scored three goals in six Blues appearances, may yet return to Fratton Park in the future.
Appleton said: ‘I know the player is desperately disappointed and he was desperate to play in the game.
‘I just hope for his sake he gets utilised at Bournemouth, otherwise there might be a bit of sour grapes.
‘He was almost like a catalyst for us. He kick-started everyone and he certainly helped Izale McLeod.
‘He gave us a different dimension, which helped everyone.
‘If there is an opportunity to do something in the future with Wes, we would be delighted to do something. I’m sure he would be more than happy to do something as well.’
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