Defender backs Appy to stay

Jason Pearce. Picture: Robin Jones
Jason Pearce. Picture: Robin Jones

Jason Pearce backed Michael Appleton to remain at Pompey – if he is given a clean slate to work with.

The departed Blues captain believes Appleton will relish the challenge of getting his side back to the Championship at the first attempt.

Appleton has been linked with the vacant manager’s post at West Brom following the departure of Roy Hodgson for England.

But Pearce reckons he will stay put at Fratton Park and see his Pompey vision through to fruition.

The defender, who moved to Leeds in a £500,000 deal 10 days ago, feels it is crucial Appleton is given the chance to put his plans into action, however.

Pearce said: ‘The gaffer is great.

‘If he gets a clean slate and decent budget to work with he will bring the club back up.

‘It’s going to be a hard one but hopefully it’s a chance he really wants.

‘I think he’ll love the challenge.’

Pearce has been moved to thank Pompey fans for their support in the wake of his move to Leeds.

The 24-year-old was the first exit of the summer as administrator Trevor Birch looks to generate much-needed finance to keep the club afloat.

Blues supporters have been quick to understand Pearce’s departure was essentially out of his hands.

And their backing for The News/Sports Mail Pompey player of the season has provided a source of comfort for the player.

Pearce said: ‘I’m on Twitter and I’ve had a lot of Portsmouth fans wishing me good luck and saying I deserve the chance to play at Leeds.

‘It’s been really, really nice to have that.’