Vital lift but Appy warns Blues can’t get carried away

Michael Appleton was unhappy with the display last night. Picture: Steve Reid

Michael Appleton was unhappy with the display last night. Picture: Steve Reid

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Michael Appleton has warned last night’s first victory of the campaign must not be allowed to paper over the cracks at Pompey.

The Blues defeated Bournemouth 4-3 on penalties in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after the match finished 2-2 at full time.

It represents a win at the sixth time of asking this season and provides a massive confidence boost to the players.

Appleton feels that result can lift his side as they seek to climb League One, starting at Crawley on Sunday.

However, he admits the on-going uncertainty over the Fratton Park ownership situation is increasingly impacting upon his players.

And he is adamant glaring problems remain, on and off the field.

He said: ‘The result has given everyone a lift and everyone was afterwards happy in the dressing room.

‘But I just want to make sure we don’t paper over the cracks too much and make sure we are fully prepared going into the Crawley game.

‘If we can take the confidence of our first win into that game and make sure we get rid of all the silly errors we are making at the minute, hopefully we will be a match for them and give them a good game.

‘However, it is massively important not to get carried away.

‘I just get the impression at the minute everything that is going on off the field is getting to people.

‘It is at that point now where everyone is frustrated, you can see them a little bit anxious and it is almost like “someone please take us out of administration so we can all look forward to a brighter future”.

‘It is getting to a few of the players, some of their contracts are up in a week or so and they are all probably thinking “what is going on here?”.

‘In football terms, there are also certain areas of the field where we need to be better and it’s not necessarily when the opposition have the ball, it’s when we’ve got the ball.

‘At times we’ve been a little naïve and looking to play in wrong areas of the pitch. That is down to a lot of things – a lot is confidence, a lot is experience.

‘After a result like that, though, hopefully it will improve.’

Appleton conceded his side were fortunate not to lose.

He added: ‘We played 10 times better than that on the opening day of the season and still only got a draw out of the game.

‘Bournemouth will probably feel aggrieved they haven’t won the game and rightly so in terms of the chances they created.

‘Again we are not making the opposition work hard enough to get a goal. It is actually coming from poor errors from ourselves.’