Appy fires warning shot

Pompey concede at Meadow Lane
Pompey concede at Meadow Lane

Michael Appleton warned his Pompey players: You’re playing for your futures.

Appleton told his men they will be kicked out of the club if they don’t deliver.

That follows the Blues’ hugely disappointing 3-0 defeat at Notts County on Saturday.

Pompey’s players are currently operating on month-to-month deals with the club in administration.

Appleton said: ‘I reminded them at half-time they are on short-term deals and they are playing for their futures.

‘If they aren’t prepared to do what we expect, and their expectation levels aren’t as high as ours, they will soon find themselves without a football club.

‘At the end of the day we are playing for our futures and fighting for our futures. We all are.

‘Players do like excuses and I’m learning a lot about them.

‘For me, and this is the message I’m giving the players, you take control of your own destiny.

‘As a coach and a manager you rely on the players who go on to the field.

‘But as a player you have to take control or your destiny. It’s in their hands.

‘They have to turn it around. I will give them as much help as I can but it has to come from them.’

Meanwhile, Kevin Long has returned to Burnley after Jordan Obita extended his Pompey loan spell.

That leaves Pompey with a squad of 18 – two inside the 20 man limit imposed by the Football League – as they look for a striker.

Appleton said: ‘Kevin’s staying at Burnley for the foreseeable future.

‘It’s pretty evident we need someone who can score goals for us, or at least cause a little bit of havoc for opposing defenders.’