Appy: It’s time for cool heads

Pompey manager Michael Appleton    Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey manager Michael Appleton Picture: Robin Jones

Pompey fans have been asked to keep their heads as the uncertainty engulfing their club continues.

Blues boss Michael Appleton admits he can feel frustrations boiling over amongst the Fratton faithful as his side get set to go to Notts County tomorrow.

The Blues’ ongoing administration, combined with a lacklustre start in League One, has seen tempers begin to fray among fans in some quarters.

Appleton has sensed that and is fully understanding of supporters’ worries.

But he knows he has to maintain his calm in the face of the storm.

Appleton said: ‘I can sense a feeling of people around Portsmouth and everyone in Portsmouth losing their heads at the minute.

‘There needs to be someone in the middle of it staying calm and keeping theirs.

‘That’s the role I’d like to think I’m playing.

‘I can see the wheels falling off everywhere and I’m trying to step away and look in.

‘It feels like everyone is going crazy and are not knowing where to turn.

‘I think I need to try to step away and be a bit of a calming influence. That’s the role I’ve decided to play. It all becomes one boiling point.

‘The administration thing will still be there if we get wins.

‘The feeling is that when it’s still there and things are going all right on the field, there’s no rush for it to happen.

‘But when results aren’t happening on the field, people start looking at what needs to be done.

‘You end up getting caught in the wave of it all.

‘I think it happened a bit last season when we initially went into administration.

‘Everyone got caught up in the ride – me also – but now I’ve been in it for a while.

‘It certainly makes life easier if we are winning games of football. But the minute you lose focus and get carried away with it all there’s no way back.’

Appleton picked up on some light-hearted chants from fans as they faced up to their third home league defeat on the bounce against Swindon on Tuesday.

That included cries of ‘We’re all going on a League Two tour’.

The 36-year-old made it clear now is the time for unity, and he needs supporters to continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with him and his team in the face of the challenges on the horizon.

Appleton said: ‘I’m not going to be able to do it on my own. We have to be patient and the fans have to play their role.

‘Sometimes I’m going to need the players or staff to get me out of the proverbial.

‘I could sense frustration the other night and there were certain chants.

‘There was nothing meant in it, but we sounded like a pub team at times by what was being said.

‘The fans at Portsmouth are the best in the country, I’ve never experienced anything like them in my life. But I could feel their frustration towards everything.

‘It’s their opportunity when they turn up at a game to cheer and scream and shout and get their frustrations out.

‘I’d love to do the same sometimes! But I’ve got to stay a little calmer.

‘We all need to stay in it together.’