Burnley target Appleton insists he is settled on south coast

Pompey boss Michael Appleton
Pompey boss Michael Appleton

Michael Appleton is adamant he is settled at Fratton Park.

But Pompey could this week face a fight to keep their manager, with Burnley eyeing up a move.

At present, there has been no official approach from the Championship outfit, who have been left without a boss after Eddie Howe returned to Bournemouth last week.

Administrator Trevor Birch has also yet to be contacted by Bolton regarding their vacant managerial position – another job Appleton has been linked with in recent days.

Despite weekend rumours, Appleton insists he has personally not held talks with either club.

However, The News understands Burnley are keen and have Appleton on a short-list of candidates for the Turf Moor vacancy – which is a more realistic destination than Bolton.

On Saturday, Pompey made it 10 points from a possible 12 in recent league matches following a comfortable 2-0 victory over Crewe at Fratton.

With a week before the visit of Shrewsbury, all eyes will now be on how the managerial situation develops.

Appleton, who has two-and-a-half years left on his existing deal, has stressed he is not looking to quit the south coast for a return up north.

The Salford-born 36-year-old turned down several job offers during the summer to remain.

But with Pompey’s on-going ownership situation still undecided, that could well change.

He said: ‘I suppose with me being from up north people are going to put two and two together and make their own ideas up on what I am or am not going to do.

‘To be honest, my kids live up north. I am not with their mum now but we are good friends.

‘But football is one of those games that if you play, manage or coach, anyone who is part of my family realises I might be there the next minute, I might not.

‘Now, at the minute, I am settled down here.

‘I have been down here nearly 12 months. It’s a little bit warmer than it is up north and I have got a lot of friends here now.

‘It’s a difficult one really in terms of I have not spoken to any one of those two football clubs.

‘And until they contact this club it is a question I cannot really answer. If there is no truth in it, what can I do?’

Pompey’s future could well be key to Appleton’s long-term plans.

Developments over the weekend suggest the Pompey Supporters’ Trust rather than Portpin are now in pole position to take the club.

And Appleton is desperate for the saga to be sorted soon.

He added: ‘I have got some really, really good staff and if I am not having a particularly great day they get behind me and keep me going as well.

‘We are hoping to get things resolved. The sooner they are the better and easier for everyone.’