Curle avoids ‘worst nightmare’

The touchline bust-up in the wake of Scott Allan's red card. Picture: Allan Hutchings (123555-382)
The touchline bust-up in the wake of Scott Allan's red card. Picture: Allan Hutchings (123555-382)

Michael Appleton joked he would have been Keith Curle’s ‘worst nightmare’ if the melee in the wake of Scott Allan’s red card had descended into a brawl.

Players and staff from both sides became involved in a skirmish in front of the dugouts at Fratton Park after Allan was dismissed for a tackle on Andre Boucard in Saturday’s FA Cup defeat to Notts County.

That led to Magpies winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce picking up a booking, while Pompey coach Ashley Westwood was banished to the stands for his part in the incident.

Despite being confronted by screaming Notts County boss Curle, Appleton remained unmoved throughout.

The Blues boss brushed off the altercation after the game.

But smiled and admitted he would have been ready for Curle if the visiting manager had gone for him.

He said: ‘I thought it was hilarious!

‘It’s handbags isn’t it. It is one of those things in the moment.

‘People are saying this and saying that but as far as I’m concerned I don’t get involved in that rubbish.

‘There was nothing in it whatsoever.

‘What happens on the pitch is the most important thing. There were a few egos and a few hormones flying around but we move on.

‘What can you do? It’s not as if he (Curle) was going to put one on me, is it?

‘If he did it would have been his worst nightmare!

‘Joking apart, we worry about what takes place on the pitch rather than off it.’

The second-half bust-up was typical of scrappy game which was, at times, ill tempered.

Appleton had no complaints about Allan walking for his tackle on Boucard.

But felt referee Darren Sheldrake could have done more to control the game.

He said: ‘It’s disappointing having a player sent off but looking back I can’t really argue.

‘I think the ref made a rod for his own back by not booking Andre Boucard a second time.

‘Boucard should have been sent off before that.

‘Maybe that’s what has rattled a few players.

‘Akos (Buzsaky) went into a silly challenge as well. There were a lot of players who lost a bit of discipline.

‘Maybe the referee could have been stronger.

‘I think that rattles players, both theirs and ours but maybe a couple of their players were lucky.’