Pompey boss Appy with break

Pompey manager Michael Appleton during Portsmouth training session ahead of their relegation game away to Doncaster Rovers this weekend.

Pompey manager Michael Appleton during Portsmouth training session ahead of their relegation game away to Doncaster Rovers this weekend.

32
Have your say

Michael Appleton is adamant Pompey’s 10-day Spanish training camp has paid full dividends.

The Blues returned from their stay in Benahavis on Thursday and are scheduled back into full training today.

During their time training away from England, Appleton cast his eye over 12 triallists in addition to seven members of the development group.

There were friendlies against Gibraltar and Brighton, both of which resulted in losses.

The tour was funded by Fareham businessman Dave Ellis and the Gibraltar FA, a fact which puts to bed accusations of how the club managed to afford it.

And Appleton believes the time away from yet more Pompey drama at home was beneficial to both the squad and staff.

He said: ‘I think overall the trip was good for us. There obviously has been an awful lot going on back home, although I’m not sure how much influence I could have had in terms of the players.

‘I think while we were out there I had an opportunity to look at some of the development kids, see them off the field and how they are, how they deal with things, put them in different environments.

‘I’ve had an opportunity to also see them in games where we have been under the cosh a little bit and how they have dealt with that.

‘Whether they have stood strong or buckled under the pressure a little bit.

‘From a staff point of view, it is what was needed. They have had to put up with a lot of rubbish and stuff they shouldn’t have to over a long, long period of time.

‘They have been out here and had the opportunity to enjoy some good weather and some really, really good training sessions, which has been pleasing.

‘I’ve a little bit of time to myself to think about what is going on and how we deal with the next problem that seems to arise.

‘That is all I seem to deal with at the moment, different problems.

‘Now we’re back and looking to the next friendly against Aldershot on Wednesday.’

With the opening pre-season friendly against the Hawks washed out, both matches on the tour represented their first of the summer. The trip opened with a 4-0 defeat at Gibraltar, a result which prompted Liam Walker to win a Pompey trial.

Then there was a 5-1 loss against Brighton at the Barcelo Montecastillo Resort.

But Appleton isn’t concerned about the results.

He added: ‘They were two completely different games.

‘One was played on a gravel pit with a runway about 100 yards from the pitch and the other on a fantastic surface against one of the better footballing sides in the Championship.

‘I don’t pay much attention to them.

‘They are friendlies and it’s all about fitness and gauging the squad at present.’